When it comes to getting dinner on the table in a hurry you just can’t beat this trick. This recipe for Easy Jerk Chicken is just an example of how I stay sane during the week. Since my daughter started kindergarten two weeks ago things have changed much more than I anticipated, and I admit that I’m struggling a little with the schedule. For the first time we now have two kids at two different schools. So drop off and pick up can get a little chaotic, especially in the evening when both of them are starving and cranky. My work schedule (the work that I actually get paid to do) has been anything but predictable, with much more traveling than I’d like. But never fear when it’s time for dinner. Just give me a freezer bag, a few ingredients, and some chicken or beef, and dinner is on the table in 20 minutes.
The secret is – you got it – planning ahead. But the method is effortless, really. All you need to do is buy the meat in bulk, preferably on sale, then whip up a few simple but tasty marinades. Divide the ingredients between a few zip-top freezer bags, label (always label), and pop them into the freezer. Then all you need to do is remember to transfer the bag to the refrigerator the night before you plan to cook it. When you get home at night simply pop it in the oven and prepare your side dish while it bakes. At any given time you can be sure you’ll find one or two bags of Jerk Chicken in my freezer, along with my Carne Asada, and Lemon Thyme Chicken, along with one of our favorite comfort meals, Mini Meatloaf Muffins (they freeze beautifully).
One of my go-to marinades for this summer has been this Jerk flavored version. I’m in love with the savory-sweet combination of ingredients. It can easily be adapted to what you have on hand, and has turned out perfectly every time. I prefer it with chicken thighs, which is a bonus because I can usually find organic chicken thighs at very budget-friendly prices. The thighs seem to enhance the flavor a little more than chicken breasts. The thighs I used in the picture below still had the skin and bones to make it even more flavorful, and enhances the nutrient value as well. For flavors this big only simple steamed green beans and brown rice are needed to complete the meal.
If you’re looking for more easy meal time ideas like this one then you really should sign up for the Real Simple magazine Take Back Dinnertime Challenge. They have some incredibly inspiring ideas this week for getting your dinner time routine in place and under control. I’m really enjoying reading their ideas and articles. If you’re searching for ways to make meals healthier, strategies for cooking meals, or advice about healthier ingredients they’ve got you covered on their new blog, Simply Stated by Real Simple.
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