Slow Cooker Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Red Quinoa

jerkchickenSlow cooker jerk-marinated shredded chicken over red quinoa with black beans, corn, avocado and cilantro. This dish packs a lot of flavor for how low in calories it is. It’s the perfect all-in-one meal to prepare on the weekend and take for lunch during the work week.

Clearly, I can’t quit the quinoa. This is only the 289745th recipe I’ve used it in. It’ just so dang versatile in cooking and serves as a blank canvas for endless flavor combinations. Not to mention the health benefits – high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is the perfect substitute for rice or pasta for an overall nutrient-dense meal.

jerkchicken2This tasted great cold, reheated and every which way around. It’s even good enough for middle-of-the-night snackage (guilty), therefore good enough for anything.

Another selling point is it is so ridiculously simple to make and requires very little labor. The aromas from the simmering jerk sauce will likely make your kitchen smell like a Jamaican Jerk Hut, but why not take a little mental escape, shall we?? ;)

On that note, let’s talk about jerk seasoning. Being a lover of anything spicy that hits my palette with force and may even cause me to tear up or perspire, jerk seasoning may as well be my kryptonite. If you’re not a fan of spicy, you can use less sauce and still get the amazing flavors without the level of heat. Or you can add a little extra sugar to lessen the heat and add some tangy sweetness.

jerkchicken3I used this jerk sauce, which I found at Whole Foods. However, any jerk sauce/marinade will work. If you’re feeling fancy and up for the challenge of making your own, let me know which recipe you use and how it comes out :)

Compared with white quinoa, the red variety has a slightly earthier flavor. However if you were to do a blind taste test, it would be hard to tell the difference. With that said, either red or plain ol’ white will work fine.

jerkchicken4As an aside, this dish would be amazing with jerked pork or shrimp.. Going on next weeks menu

Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Red Quinoa

Makes roughly 10 cups/6 servings. Serving size: 1.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinse
  • 1 can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 5 tbsp spicy jerk sauce (1/2 bottle)
  • 2 tsp cumin

Directions

  1. Combine chicken, 1 cup of broth and jerk sauce in the crock pot. Make sure the chicken breasts are well coated on both sides. Cook on low for 8 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to the slow cooker.
  2. In the meantime, cook red quinoa according to instructions using 1 cup of water and remaining 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth (requires a 2:1 liquid to quinoa ratio). Stir in cumin while the quinoa simmers.
  3. Transfer cooked quinoa to a large bowl and add black beans, corn and cilantro. Top with shredded chicken and diced avocado and serve. Store in Tupperware containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (~1.5 cups)

Calories: 355; Total Fat: 7 gm; Saturated Fat: 1 gm; Cholesterol: 80 mg; Sodium: 425 mg; Carbohydrates: 30 gm; Fiber: 6 gm; Sugar: 3.5 gm; Protein: 40 gm

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2 Thoughts on “Slow Cooker Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Red Quinoa

  1. Olivia on April 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm said:

    This looks absolutely amazing! The clear pictures and beautiful colors give it a perfect touch! Wow, Jamie, this looks fantastic :)

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