Jerk chicken…tacos. Yes, I know, not the most likely combination! I’m pretty much combining two totally different cuisines with this one.. but seriously people, trust me, it SO works!
Jerk chicken is always amazing. When the hubby and I were in Costa Rica a few years ago, we stayed in this little town called Peurto Viejo that had this amazing Jamaican restaurant. They served the most delicious jerk chicken I’d ever tasted in my life. We ate there at least 5 times in the week we were there – and every now and then I get a crazy jerk chicken craving!
Like, last weekend for example!
I found a great recipe for a homemade jerk chicken seasoning blend (from Tastebook) and then, as usual, the wheels started turning. I was thinking of what I could serve with my delicious jerk chicken that wouldn’t throw me off the 12-week fit challenge diet plan. A delicious viniagrette slaw seemed like the perfect accompaniment!
I raided my pantry and fridge and came up with some simple yet delicious ingredients to make the slaw! Kale (my new love), cabbage, and carrots, mixed with a dijon cider vinaigrette that I sweetened with stevia, and then added some celery seed and coriander for crunch and that good ol’ slaw flavor!
Although I’m a little unsure about my carbohydrate choice being acceptable for my diet plan, I decided to go with taco shells just this once! But, in my defense, the shells I used are locally made (Tortillas El Mercado) with clean, natural ingredients and no additives or preservatives!
So, I made a little exception, and only had two!
And.. wow, all I can say is YUMMMmmmm!
The spicy jerk chicken, the cool, sweet, slaw, all wrapped up in a warm, soft, corn tortilla… with a drizzle of hot sauce… perfection!
Healthy, clean, and delicious!
(Oh, and not to mention – a serving of 3 of these tacos (if your shells are around 50 cals each like mine were) topped with about 1.5 ounces of chicken and 1/4 cup of slaw (on each taco) only sets you back about 380 calories!! That’s pretty darn good as tacos you’d find out at a restaurant, or heaven forbid, fast food, would set you back closer to 800 or 1,000 calories…at least! )
This recipe is definitely going to be a remake!
Even without the tacos, the jerk chicken would be amazing with “rice and peas” and the slaw, or even on a sandwich, or as the topper on a filling salad.. which is exactly what I did the next day with my leftovers! I mixed the remaining slaw with a bunch of lettuce, and threw in the jerk chicken and some quinoa! Delish!
So if you are feeling jerk chicken lately, and tacos, morph the two into this delicious, healthy dish! Oh, and don’t be intimidated by the length of this recipe – it’s pretty much all spices and actually incredibly easy to put together!!
- For the Jerk Chicken
- 4 6oz chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- For the Slaw
- 2 cup kale, "massaged" with salt to wilt slightly
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- ½ cup shredded green cabbage
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 packet stevia (or 1 tablespoon honey)
- ½ tsp ground or whole coriander (I used whole, and crushed it slightly)
- ½ tsp celery seeds
- dash of salt and pepper
- 12 small soft corn tortillas ( I used El Mercado, locally made, with no additives or preservatives)
- Combine all of the spices for the jerk chicken seasoning with the lime juice and olive oil and rub over each chicken breast to create a good coating. Marinate for at least 30 minutes in a baking dish.
- Meanwhile assemble the slaw. Whisk together the mustard, olive oil, vinegar, stevia, celery seeds, coriander, and salt and pepper.
- Place the kale in a large bowl and "massage" lightly with a sprinkle of salt until slightly wilted. Add in the cabbage and carrots.
- Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix well to combine. Put in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 375. Put marinated chicken (in the original baking dish) into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. Let cool slightly then shred chicken into strips or chunks.
- Warm corn tortillas shortly in the oven or microwave and top each with about 1½ oz of jerk chicken and a ¼ cup of slaw.
- Drizzle with some hot sauce (optional) and enjoy!
*Jerk Seasoning Recipe from Tastebook
Nutritionist in the Kitch