Blackened Jawaiian Spice Chicken Breasts with Banana-Rum Sauce and Chili Corn Cakes
Blackened Jawaiian chicken combines a Caribbean influence with Hawaiian ingredients. The term “Jawaiian” comes out of the island surf culture and denotes a blending of Jamaican reggae and Hawaiian influences in food, music, and lifestyle.
- Jawaiian Spice Mix
- Allspice - 8 tablespoons, ground
- Cinnamon - 2 tablespoons, ground
- Thyme - 2 teaspoons, dried
- Rosemary - 2 teaspoons, dried
- Chives - 2 teaspoons, dried
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Onion - 1 teaspoon, dried
- Boneless chicken breast - 8 halves
- Clarified Butter - 6 tablespoons
- Banana-Rum Sauce
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Celery - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- Bananas - 4, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Chicken Stock - 2 1/2 cups
- Sake - 1/2 cup
- Vanilla bean - 1/2, halved lengthwise
- Lime Juice - 2
- Star anise pods - 3
- Rum - 1/2 cup
- Chili Corn Cakes
- Milk - 1 1/4 cups
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, melted
- Eggs - 3
- Unbleached All Purpose Flour - 3/4 cup
- Corn Meal - 1/2 cup
- Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Corn Kernels - 1 cup, fresh or frozen
- Green Chilies - 1/2 cup, diced peeled
- Peanut Oil - For frying
- Thyme - Fresh sprigs for garnish
To make the spice mix: Combine all the spice ingredients and mix well. The mixture can be stored almost indefinitely in a sealed jar.
To blacken the chicken: Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to very high. Wipe the cooking grill with oil. Coat the chicken breasts with the spice mix. Place the chicken on the grill and drizzle with butter. Cook for 3 minutes, until blackened on the bottom, then turn with tongs and cook for 3 minutes on the other side, until blackened. Drizzle with more butter. Move the grill surface up away from the fire to create a cooler temperature (or spread the breasts away from the hottest part of the fire) and cook 5 minutes. Turn again and cook 5 more minutes, or until the meat is cooked completely through and the juices run clear when the breast is pierced with a knife. Note: if the fire is too hot to cook the chicken through without further blackening the outsides, place in a preheated 350 F oven for 10 minutes to finish.
To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onions and celery for 2 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bananas and cook until they begin to caramelize and brown. Add the stock, sake, vanilla bean, lime juice, and star anise, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and star anise. Put the mixture in a blender or food processor and puree. Return to the pan and add the rum. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until thickened. Strain through a sieve. The sauce may be kept warm in a thermos until ready to serve.
To make the corn cakes: In a large bowl, beat the milk, butter, and eggs together. In a small bowl, stir the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined. Gently blend in the corn and chilies.
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, heat just enough oil to film the bottom of the pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter for each cake. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until bubbles pop through the batter and the edges are slightly browned. Turn with a spatula and cook 1 to 2 minutes on the other side, until cooked through and browned. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Repeat to cook remaining batter. The pancakes may be made ahead and reheated in a little butter just before serving.
To serve: Ladle sauce onto each plate and place a chicken breast on top. Cut the corn cakes in half and place one half on each side of the chicken. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.