Cherith Valley Gardens Island Jerk Barbecue Sauce

DSC01121When we introduced you to Cherith Valley Gardens Hot ‘n Spicy Corn Relish, it was with notice of our long-time friendship with Terri & Alan Werner, the entrepreneurs who started the company.  The Werner Family stays very busy cooking up a tasty line of relishes, condiments and sauces, pickled vegetables, gourmet stuffed olives, salsas, and jellies.  Karen and I are always happy when we can catch up with Terri for a visit, and right now we are overdue for a girls’ lunch!

Jerk seasoning is a popular import from Jamaica, and it is known for its peppery heat combined with cinnamon, thyme, and allspice.  It is a super spicy blend that we enjoy on fish, chicken, and pork, although Allen would probably say he enjoys it in moderation!    Jerk barbecue sauce sounded interesting, especially when I saw that Cherith Valley’s version contains banana and honey.  Doesn’t that sound deliciously tropical?  We popped a jar open and did a taste test as a dipping sauce for smoked sausage.  The barbecue sauce has the distinctive jerk seasoning kick, very slightly tempered by the sweetness of honey and banana.  It is not your run of the grill barbecue sauce, and it garnered high praise from our lunch guests.

After its successful debut at our house, I was anxious to cook with the barbecue sauce.  Chicken on the grill was an obvious option, but I wanted to do something different.  Do you ever stand in front of your pantry shelves, looking at what’s on hand, waiting for inspiration to strike?  It was at just such a moment when I spotted the navy beans destined to make white chicken chili, and thought about making jerk chicken chili.  Adapting a white chicken chili recipe was easy and resulted in a pot of spicy jerk chicken chili goodness.  The recipe below can be adjusted to your tolerance for heat and your desired ratio of chicken to beans.

Jerk Chicken ChiliJerk Chicken Chili

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed in 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups Cherith Valley Gardens Island Jerk Barbecue Sauce (or to taste)
  • 3 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • Optional toppings:  shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, chopped onion, sour cream, sliced jalapeño peppers

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, sauté cubed chicken breasts with onion until the chicken is no longer pink.  Add chicken broth and barbecue sauce, and stir well.  Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.  Add beans and simmer uncovered until chili reaches the desired consistency, about 45 minutes.  Serve with toppings of your choice.

Note:   We enjoyed our jerk chicken chili with yummy Rumiano Family Organic Monterey Jack Cheese.

Check out Cherith Valley Garden’s products on their website, especially their gift packs.  Call them and get some Cherith Valley Gardens goodies coming your way!

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