I am so happy for you folks who are wearing your flipflops and tank tops wherever you are right now! (Nope...I aint) Toronto has been beaten with some bad weather recently and trust me when its freezing outside, I crave hot comfort food. The other night I whipped up some Oven Honey Jerk Chicken with Mac n Cheese. I have no fireplace to warm my feet so I figured might as well warm up my belly.
When it comes to Mac n Cheese, there's always that one person in every family who makes that Baked Mac n Cheese that's to die for. We all look forward to it at family events and special holidays right?? There are so many options when choosing your pasta. My favourites to use are shell, penne, elbow pasta or fusilli and yes! regardless of which pasta I use...I will still call it "MAC" and cheese :) I do love the baked version with crumbs and extra Mozzarella on top (Check out my yummy recipe in the Side dishes category) However the other night I was not in the mood to do all that so I just did a stove top Mac n Cheese. This is so simple so don't even bother buying the boxed stuff. It is not diet food...so...my low carb low fat friends...just look away my loves.
As for the chicken I wanted to use my homemade marinade (Recipe available in my ebook Jerene's Eats:Caribbean Flavour on amazon sites) but I didn't have enough thyme or scotch bonnet at home so I used a mixture of jerk marinades in my cupboard along with some honey for sweetness. Feel free to experiment and add other things to the recipes. They are both easily customizable.
Happy Cooking everyone!
Oven Honey Jerk Chicken
2 lbs chicken drumsticks and thighs skin on
2 - 3 tablespoons Jerk Marinade of your choice*
2 tablespoons soya sauce
salt as desired**
1/2 cup Honey
2 - 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce***
a few teaspoons warm water
Combine the Jerk marinade, soy sauce, salt then rub thoroughly into the chicken. Marinate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Grease a baking pan that has been lined with aluminium foil.
Mix the honey and water with the hoisin sauce. simmer in a small pot till reduced a bit to a more syrupy conisistency.
Lay the marinated chicken in the baking pan skin side up and bake for 25 minutes.
After those 25 minutes, turn over each piece of chicken. Spoon or brush on some of the honey mixure then flip over each piece to skin side up and repeat the process.
Bake for another 20 minutes remove from oven and brush on more of the honey mixture. Bake for another 30 - 35 minutes or until the juices in the chicken run clear when pricked. You may also use a thermometer to check for internal temperature of at east 165F.
For more colour (if necessary), turn on the broiler for the last 3 - 5 minutes of cooking.
Serve the chicken warm. Allow it rest for at least 5 minutes if you're going to cut it into pieces.
* Most labels will say whether the marinade is extra spicy or regular. Use depending on your tolerance of heat. If you use my jerk marinade recipe you can determine how much scotch bonnet to use.
** If the soy sauce is high in sodium you may not need any salt at all
***If you have no hoisin or oyster sauce at home use fancy molasses
Stove Top Mac n Cheese
11/2 cup table cream or whole milk
3/4 cup Medium Cheddar, grated finely, room temperature
1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated finely (optional)
1/2 stick plus 2 tablespoon cold butter cut into 6 pieces
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 - 2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon Ground mustard
Salt as desired
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch Cayenne pepper
3 cups dry penne
Boil the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the water toss with 1 tbsp butter and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp butter and cook the paprika, onion powder, ground mustard, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne for a minute to release flavour without burning.
Add the cream or milk a little at a time and continuing to whisk as it simmers.
Whisk in the rest of butter one piece at a time thoroughly while whisking.
Pour in the cooked pasta and coat evenly with the cream mixture.
Add the cheeses a little at a time and gently mix till melted.