ShaneHalbach.com

Jerk Chicken and Sweet Potato Pockets with Homemade Jerk Seasoning

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

I have an unreasonable love for things wrapped in a crust. Calzones, pasties (the FOOD kind you pervert) (although I guess the other kind aren’t so bad either, now that *you* bring them up) (pervert), you name it. I don’t know why covering it in dough makes it more appealing. It’s probably this irrational love that kept me eating disgusting lean-pockets for so long.

The Journey:

Hey, the jerk store called, they’re all out of seasoning! So we had to make our own. We found a pretty good recipe, but it made 26 cups of seasoning. Since we only needed 1 tablespoon, this was a bit of overkill, so we had to modify it just a smidge.

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The first time we used ground pork instead of chicken, and it turned out amazing, so we just decided to stick with that. The pork just seemed to go well with the sweet potato. I’m sure chicken would be good too, but it saves you the hassle of having to shred it.

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Making the pockets is pretty straightforward. My edges don’t stay crimped very well, even using a fork, but then again I’m just going to eat them, so who cares?

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The Verdict:

So tasty. I’m always surprised at how many recipes we have for sweet potatoes. I never knew they were so versatile, but I love them in basically anything. You can’t go wrong! And now I know how to make jerk seasoning too (literally by the gallon), so maybe I’ll find some other use for that.

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The Recipe:

Homemade Jerk Seasoning, inspired by allrecipes:

  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix all ingredients.

Recipe from Eating Well.

  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning
  • 8 ounces cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced (about 2 cups, see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Prick sweet potato in several places with a fork. Wrap it in wax paper or parchment paper and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut in half. When it is just cool enough to handle, peel and dice.
  3. Meanwhile, shape the dough on a lightly floured surface into a log about 10 inches long. Divide into 5 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 5-inch square with a rolling pin or press into a square with your hands.
  4. Whisk mayonnaise, jalapeño, water and jerk seasoning in a medium bowl. Stir in chicken, scallions, raisins and the sweet potato.
  5. Spread about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture on half of each dough square, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold the dough over the filling and pat it to create a rectangle, then use a fork to crimp the edges closed. Transfer the chicken pockets to the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with oil.
  6. Bake the pockets until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

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