Tremendo Paquete (Ode to Jerk Chicken)

For weeks, I have been lusting over my dream cruises to Cuba and Jamaica, so naturally I had to design a themed dinner: Build Your Own Jerk Chicken plate.

After eight hours in the slow cooker, this jerk chicken was so tender I hardly needed to shred it. I used the Wildtree brand Jerk Chicken Seasoning, which is a blend of chiles, thyme, cinnamon, garlic, and nutmeg, other herbs. I added black beans, fresh chopped onions and garlic, some extra chili paste and cinnamon.

Option 1: Whole wheat tortilla layered it with fresh spinach, chicken, slices of banana and avocado, and some Sriracha.

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Option 2: Chipotle lime wrap from Trader Joe’s layered with chicken and homemade Caribbean slaw.

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For the slaw, I sliced radishes and carrots, a tiny bit of red apple, diced onion and cilantro, loads of black pepper, and some white vinegar. I made it the night before and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Option 3: Sauteed Jerk Chicken with Beans and Rice

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I like to keep a jar of chipotle peppers resting in coconut oil for such occasions as this. I cut up and marinated chicken overnight in the oil along with the Jerk seasoning, chopped onions, and red peppers. As I was cooking the chicken, I added some butter and let it simmer once it browned. You could put this in a wrap, but we chose to eat it with black beans and rice.

Dessert: Banana Bread Cake with Vanilla Coconut Rum

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I have a secret recipe for banana bread that I may share in the future, but I will disclose that I add coconut rum and vanilla rum to my cake and into the buttercream. For this cake I kept it simple with some toasted coconut and dried banana bits on top.

We played this awesome Jamaican – Cuban – Jazz – Hip Hop mix during the dinner party too!

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