Ottawa·Recipe

Chef Resa Solomon-St. Lewis's sweet jerk chicken

Chef Resa Solomon-St. Lewis shares her sweet jerk chicken recipe, as well as her list of pantry essentials for Caribbean cooking.

Chef Resa Solomon-St. Lewis shares her passion for island food with this recipe

Chef Resa Solomon St. Lewis has adapted her business model in order to survive during the pandemic. (Resa Solomon-St. Lewis)

Imagine one day you're a successful, award-winning chef and caterer with employees and a bustling cafe. The next day, your cafe is forced to close, your catering jobs dry up and the lucrative festivals and farmers markets you had lined up for the season were also put on hold. 

Well, that's what happened to chef Resa Solomon-St. Lewis of Baccanalle and Capital Fare Cafe when the pandemic hit. But that didn't deter her from making the changes she needed to make in order to keep her business afloat.

"In order to thrive in these unprecedented circumstances, it's about being able to roll with it, to adapt, to pivot, I think also to be open to new partnerships and new collaborations," she said.

For Solomon-St. Lewis, that meant turning Baccanalle, her catering and food service, into a takeout and delivery service on evenings and weekends. It's done so well, she's making this a permanent feature of her business model.

On All In A Day this week, she shared her Baccanalle Sweet Jerk Chicken recipe to try at home. 

Baccanalle Sweet Jerk Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 400 grams chicken – boneless skinless dark meat – cleaned and cut into large cubes.
  • 1/4 cup of Baccanalle Sweet Jerk Sauce (more to your taste).
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion.
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange zest.
  • 3 tbsp Baccanalle Signature Spice Blend.
  • 1 tbsp sea salt.
  • 3 tbsp canola oil.

Preparation

  1. Mix chicken with dry seasonings and salt. Marinate for a few hours if possible but a few minutes is fine.
  2. Heat a skillet, heat the oil. Add the seasoned chicken and toss often like a stir-fry.
  3. Once browned, add the sweet jerk sauce and continue tossing until caramelized (will darken in colour).
  4. Add salt to taste if needed garnish with fresh chopped green onion or chives and orange zest.
  5. Alternatively, try on the grill for some smoky flavour! Enjoy with steamed rice or on top of your favourite salad or in a fresh salad wrap. 
    Baccanalle is back at local farmers markets this summer despite pandemic limitations and will be selling sauces and spice rubs. (Resa Solomon-St. Lewis)

Stock your own Caribbean Pantry

If you're looking to build a complete Caribbean pantry at home, Solomon-St. Lewis breaks down everything you'll need.

Cupboard

  • Curry powder.
  • Turmeric.
  • Cumin seeds/Coriander.
  • Allspice.
  • Cloves.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Dried chilies.
  • Tamarind paste/pods.
  • Guava jelly.
  • Coconut milk.
  • Coconut water.
  • Cooking oil.
  • Coconut oil. 
  • Baccanalle signature spice blend.
  • Vinegar.
  • Condensed milk.
  • Carnation evaporated milk.
  • Cocoa.
  • Brown sugar.

Fridge

  • Hot pepper sauce.
  • Angostura bitters.
  • Fresh lime.
  • Fresh garlic.
  • Cilantro/Chadon Beni.
  • Ghost pepper/scotch bonnet pepper.
  • Garlic.
  • Onions.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Bell peppers.
  • Soy sauce.
  • Baccanalle jerk sauce.

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