Make Ahead Monday: Creamy Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken
Do you ever watch food shows, like Chopped or Top Chef and try to come up with what dish you would make if you had those ingredients or that challenge? My husband and I do all the time- actually we do whenever the kids’ aren’t playing commando with the TV remote. It’s funny how a two and three year old completely choose what we watch sometimes.
This week, I was feeling like I wanted to do something different for dinner, but what exactly, I wasn’t sure. I had chicken already out, but called M into the kitchen and let her pick out three ingredients to use. After she first choose cookies, Fruit Roll Ups and Twizzlers (no, no, and no) she choose pineapple, black beans and cream cheese.
Immediately, I thought of this pin on Pinterest for creamy Mexican crock pot chicken. Although, with pineapple, I thought I’d adapt it to make it more Jamaican-style. I quickly blended up some Jerk Seasoning (with my new mortar and pestle!) Next time I make this, though, I’ll try to get my hands on some rum; I think a splash would have made this over the top good. But it was creamy, tender and easy. Even my black-bean hating husband liked it; at least I assume he did, as he went back for thirds!
Creamy Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken Recipe
Adapted from Easiest Dinner Ever on The Larson Lingo
Jerk seasoning blend:
- 3 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon all spice
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
- 1-4 tablespoons cayenne (I now it seems like a lot, but the cream cheese really mellows the spice level, so if you like a good kick I recommend using more rather than less)
For the Jerk Chicken
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drummies, your choice)
- 12 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup pineapple (fresh, frozen or canned)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped chives.
- Yellow rice for serving
- To make the Jerk seasoning blend, combine all of the spices.
- To make the chicken: Heat the oil over medium high-heat in a heavy bottom skillet (or in an electric pressure cooker) Add pepper, onion, and one tablespoon of the Jerk seasoning and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one more minute.
- If using a slow cooker, transfer the veggies into the bottom. If using an electric pressure cooker, remove the veggies and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil. Dust the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the jerk seasoning and add to the oil, browning on all sides. Either add chicken to the slow cooker, or return veggies to the pressure cooker. Add the cream cheese and remaining seasoning. Cover and cook on low in a slow cooker 2-3 hours or on low pressure 45 minutes-one hour in a pressure cooker.
- After the chicken has cooked through and is almost fork tender, add the black beans and cook 10 more minutes, or until the black bean are warmed through.
- While the beans warm, combine chopped pineapple and chives.
- To serve, plate the rice and top with the chicken, adding additional sauce/beans. Top with pineapple mixture and serve.
*You can skip sautéing the veggies and browning the chicken, and just put everything in a crock pot or pressure cooker. I just think it adds a bit more flavor to brown everything first.