4 chicken breast halves, cut into chunks
2 cups pineapple chunks
3 tablespoons Jamaican jerk paste, such as Walkerswood (available at Spec’s)
1 large red sweet pepper, cut in chunks
1 large green sweet pepper, cut in chunks
Cooked yellow rice
Soak 8 large bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour before cooking. About halfway through this time, combine the chicken chunks in a large bowl with the pineapple (with juice), and sweet peppers. Incorporate the jerk paste and let marinate about 30 minutes. When ready to cook, preheat a grill or broiler. Skewer all ingredients, alternating for color. Grill or broiler until chicken is cooked through and has begun to brown, about 10 minutes. Serve 2 skewers per person atop yellow rice. Serves 4.
Note: So-called “jerk seasoning” is available as a dry seasoning blend, and this is usually adequate. For the real taste of Jamaican jerk, you need a wet paste. Walkerswood is the best of several brands now on the market, and it’s produced by a village co-op on the island itself. With a pedigree going back to the escaped slaves known as Maroons, “jerking” meat and seafood first became a rage in Jamaica on Boston Beach near Port Antonio. Today, there are jerk stands organized and otherwise all over the island – and increasingly on other Caribbean islands as well.