January always seems a rather barren month when it comes to seasonal food, ripe tomatoes, freshly picked salad and peas, sweet strawberries and raspberries all seem distant memories. But winter in the UK is also the season for all manner of exotic fruit, queue me stuffing myself with lychees, passion fruit and pineapple. Admittedly the ideas of eating seasonally and importing exotic fruit don’t sit easily together but I can’t bring myself to give up my little bit of summer in the dead of winter.
If you asked me, I’d probably say I don’t really like meat and fruit together – I certainly didn’t when I was little – but when I think about it, there are lots of combinations I enjoy: apples with pork or chicken, dates and apricots in lamb tagines, lemon chicken, duck with plum sauce and these fabulous kebabs. I couldn’t tell you if the jerk marinade was anything like genuine but it packs a punch. Both my husband and I really enjoyed these accompanied with plain boiled rice and peas (of the frozen variety). The jerk marinade makes enough for four portions, I froze the extra only to defrost and use it within a week – it was that good!
Jerk chicken and pineapple kebabs
For the jerk marinade:
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- 2 chillies
- juice of one lime
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Roughly chop the onion and place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.
For the kebabs
- Half of the jerk marinade (freeze the rest for another day)
- 250g mini chicken fillets
- 1/4 fresh pineapple, chopped into large chunks
- 1 green pepper, cut into large pieces
Reserve 2 tbsp of the marinade for later. Pour the rest over the chicken and leave to marinate for at least and hour or overnight if possible.
Thread the chicken, pineapple and pepper onto 4 skewers. Brush the reserved marinade over the pineapple and pepper.
Heat the grill as hot as it will go and grill the kebabs for 10-12 mins turning frequently until the chicken is cooked and the pineapple is lightly charred.