Make this Caribbean Jerk Chicken Bowl with Pineapple Salsa, Bacon Black Beans, Jasmine Rice, and Fried Plantains in under 30 minutes! I’m transporting you to the Caribbean with an easy meal that is so full-on flavor. Sweet and spicy mouth-watering bites all in one bowl!
My mind is wrapped up in these Caribbean flavors at the moment. While I’ve gone a little sidetracked with pumpkin, spice and all things fall… I just keep coming back to the fresh flavors that remind me of sunshine and umbrella drinks.
Maybe it’s because it’s still 90 degrees in Florida.
Maybe it’s because in just a few short months I’ll have my feet up on the lido deck to set sail to the Caribbean with some amazing women – including GAYLE AND OPRAH for the Girls’ Getaway Cruise on Holland America!!
Yes, I will be on a ship, cruising with Oprah.
And I can’t wait to share all of the incredible experiences with you! In fact, there is the final Adventure of Your Life cruise from Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine coming up at the end of October, and Chris and I will be on that one together!
So, back this dish totally inspired by the flavors I dream about when I think of sailing through the Caribbean.
I have a strange juxtaposition in the kitchen. I love to cook, but I don’t love spending a ton of time doing it.
Maybe it’s FOMO or the fact that we typically have busy schedules and then 5pm rolls around and I start thinking, I’d better make something for dinner!
One of the things I strive for is to provide quick cooking recipes that use minimal ingredients. And the best recipes are made with real food that deliver bites full of flavor. It’s not always easy to do, but when the plates, or in this case bowls, at the table are wiped clean and everyone is talking about how much they like it, then I’ve totally struck gold.
This week, we hit the caribbean jackpot with this jerk chicken one-bowl meal.
Caribbean food has a distinct flavor and rich history. It’s most vital ingredients: rice, plantains, beans, cassava, cilantro, bell peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and coconut, among others.WPB Magazine
Caribbean Jerk Chicken
How to Make Jerk Chicken
The jerk chicken is nothing short of awesome. It’s fast, healthy, and it’s just really good!
We’ve got a jerk seasoning on the chicken that brings a crazy-good depth of flavor. It’s made simply with paprika, cayenne, tons of cumin, and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus a drizzle of honey and olive oil. Throw it on the grill, grill pan, or frying pan! Whip up the rest while the flavors are seared together.
And make sure not to skip out on the seasoning and extra drizzle of honey on the chicken… It balances the heat and creates this heavenly, golden caramelization on the chicken.
What to Serve with Jerk Chicken
To harmonize with the spice of the jerk chicken, I paired it with a sweet salsa.
The combination of pineapple and red onion with the fresh herbed taste of cilantro is perfect! Of course, served up with a bit of avocado for some healthy fats.
I took the staples up a notch by adding bacon to the black beans. ‘Cause really, everything is better with bacon, #amiright? And the jasmine rice adds a touch of sweet. You can even cook it in coconut milk to really get the flavors popping, but I was out of it this time.
Fried plantains complete the meal and not only look great, they deliver on flavor as well.
Actually, in my home, they were possibly the most popular component to this dish. They are also possibly the most labor-intensive of the recipe. Although plantains are really simple to fry up, you just have to keep your eye on them. I fried mine at the end, so I could watch them. The rest of the meal I cooked up all at once (diced and chopped while the chicken and bacon sizzled away).
Top with a little extra cilantro (YUM) and you’ll be hearing steel drums and dreaming of white sand beaches and turquoise waters right away.
One of the Caribbean’s most famous dishes, jerk, refers to a spicy dry or wet rub applied to chicken or other meats.WBP Magazine
So, you guys, let’s get cooking… and sailing! Really though, I’d LOVE to hear your favorite caribbean inspired dish below. Or maybe a favorite meal you enjoyed on a cruise! Tell us in the comments.
O Mag Insider, Tonya Parker said of her recent Adventure of Your Life cruise, “I think the best food experience for me was finding out that they had an entire vegetarian menu that you could choose from the day before… having SEVERAL choices as a vegetarian is always a nice surprise! I looked forward to choosing my veg meals for the rest of the cruise!”
And fellow O Mag cruiser, Stacie Arker Hamilton said that her “most memorable food item: mini donuts dessert in the Tamarind Restaurant… I’m all about dessert!!”
- 1 lb chicken
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups jasmine rice cooked
- 1 12 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
- 3 strips bacon
- 1/2 pineapple diced
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 lime squeezed
- 1 avocado diced
- 1-2 ripe plantains
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
For the jerk chicken:
1. Stir the spices together. Rub over both sides of chicken.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook on one side for 5 minutes, adding a drizzle of oil and honey over the top. Flip the chicken and cook another 5 minutes or cooked through.
3. Remove from heat and let rest.
For the pineapple salsa:
1. Combine pineapple, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and avocado in a bowl and gently stir. Add sea salt as desired.
For the black beans:
1. Cook the bacon in skillet and cut into small pieces.
2. Rinse and drain the black beans. Pour into a microwave safe dish to heat or add beans to a small stock pot. Add in chopped bacon and heat beans.
For the plantains:
1. Peel the plantains.
2. Slice the plantains into bite-sized pieces. Lay a plantain on a cutting board and slice it on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. This is the customary way to slice tostones.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan, until it's hot enough to sizzle when you add plantain.
4. Lay the plantain pieces in the hot oil and fry them until they're tender and golden, which takes about 5 minutes, flipping over halfway through. When they're golden, transfer them to paper towel-lined plates to drain. Leave the oil on the heat, since you'll be frying the plantains once more.
5. Fill a small bowl with water and a few shakes of salt. One by one, dip the plantain pieces in the saltwater. This process softens the plantain pieces a bit so that they end up creamy on the inside.
6. Smash the plantain pieces just a bit by laying them on a plate and using the back of a spatula to smash.
7. Place the plantains back in the hot oil to fry a second time, until they turn deep gold, about 3 minutes. Transfer them to a paper-towel lined plate before serving.
1. Layer rice, beans, salsa, plantains and meat in a bowl. Add toppings like sour cream or greek yogurt if desired.
Have you ever tried a Caribbean jerk chicken bowl before? Let me know in a comment below!