Sunday, June 9, 2013

Boston 2 Brooklyn Jerk Chicken Rolls

The nefarious looking gentleman to your left is Nicholas Cox. He's been credited with many things, but perhaps none so immediately crucial as fanning the flames of the summer's first Meat Hunx post! In addition to our guest writer, we've also been joined by guest photographer and all-around badass Jake Burghart. 

On a holiday Monday afternoon, while this great nation laid about, Nick took matters into his own hands, commandeering a 30-person feast, bestowing upon a rudimentary grill and Rosee-rinsed palettes outsized tastes and outrageously good vibes. Nick handily traversed across multiple dishes, a feat that would leave most burned out. That's apparently when this dude shines. Nick broke out a jerk chicken that would earn a triangle salute from fellow grill renegades at Boston Jerk City

Here's how it goes:
Procure 15 pieces of thigh meat, trimmed of fat. Don't waste your time with Purdue and the like. Additionally try to buy air-chilled chicken. For those of you unfamiliar, most chickens are dunked in iced, chlorinated water to bring their temperature down after slaughter. Air-chilled is a slightly different process: evisceration, sprayed with chlorinated water inside and out, and rapidly cooled in air chambers to reduce bacteria. Most, if not all in the know, will tell you the result tastes way better.

For the cure, pull together the following: 
- 16floz extra virgin olive oil 
- 4floz white distilled vinegar
- 3floz smooth Dijon style mustard
- 6floz Worcestershire sauce
- 6floz soy sauce
- 1lb Spanish onion
- 1oz parsley (whole)
- 2tbsp red chile flakes
- 1tbsp allspice
- 3tbsp turmeric
- 1tbsp black pepper
- 2tbsp cumin
- 2tbsp coriander
- 2tbsp salt
- 4-9pc scotch bonnet/habanero chiles. (Depending on preference. This is supposed to be a spicy cure). If you can't find these you may use red bird's eye chiles.

Next up:
- Grind all spices, add to blender
- Rough chop onion and parsley, add to blender
- Add all ingredients except for the oil. Purée until smooth.
- Slowly pour the oil in a steady thin stream to emulsify
- Add protein to the jerk and let sit at least 24hrs
- Grill over a low heat 

The chicken was served in two forms: in mini potato rolls with mayonnaise ("jalapeño mango if you wanna get fancy") and kosher dill pickles, or the markedly less elegant but respectably uninhibited grill-to-fork-mouth. I'll let the photos do Nick's work justice. 

The island tastes marked a turning point in the evening that left little room for revisionism. Sitting here now, in a much more lucid state, I'd be remiss not to point out some tried tested and true Jamaican jerk customs that were disregarded here. The most prominent of these is that no pimento wood was used in the making of this masterpiece. Recently, the wood has cleared international boundaries and is now available at Pimento Wood (.com). And while ordering a 'One Click Jerk Kit' seems a bit rich, if it means getting some pimento smoke in the mix, so buy it!

PS. If you get a chance, look up the history of jerk. It's a wild ride.