Tableside Day 2 was jerk chicken with coconut rice & beans and mango salsa (from the tuna poke salad).
I love jerk chicken because of it's smoky spiciness. I thought it was high time that I tried making it. And I also thought it would be popular because it's chicken and rice, things that most everybody will eat.
The recipes I found for the chicken and the rice both involved long lists of ingredients, and I was excited about the complexity of spice.
I even got my hands on some Jamaican rum for the chicken marinade.
In Jamaica the rice is made with pigeon peas, but here we substitute kidney beans.
After marinating the chicken I wrapped each piece in foil and baked until the chicken was cooked to temperature (165F). Then as orders came in I would unwrap the packet and sear the chicken on a cast iron pan in front of the customer. Sadly this did not produce the charred effect that I was looking for - grilling would have been much better. I think the chicken is meant to be grilled, because it allows the molasses in the marinade to caramelize (or something) and adds the characteristic smoky flavor.
Also the rice was a bit too hard - I should have used a starchier rice (instead of parboiled Uncle Ben's), that would've soaked up more of the coconut milk. The mango salsa ended up being the best part of the dish.
Not surprisingly, I only sold about half of what I made. Was disappointed, but it just means I'll have to make jerk chicken again.