Last winter, I found this amazing looking recipe for jerk chicken on Serious Eats. The recipe didn’t intrigue me, so much as the technique. As they explain in the accompanying article, traditional jerk chicken is cooked on green pimento wood. They have you cooking the chicken on a bed of bay leaves and allspice berries.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I even bought big bags of bay leaves at the middle eastern supermarket right after I moved to Phoenix. But I never made it.
Finally, a couple weeks ago, I decided I’d had enough thinking about it. We decided to invite a bunch of people over, specifically to give me the motivation to try the chicken recipe.
We called it an-excuse-to-try-a-new-recipe party. Mine is jerk chicken. Evelyn’s is a pineapple upside down cake. Mark’s is a rum punch.
I wrote out 20 invitations. We invited everyone on our end of the street (except the lady who wouldn’t come to the door). And the kids invited 4 school friends each.
This is the second time I’ve tried to have a party, so I was more well prepared for the results this time. People are HORRIBLE at RSVPing. I have had 6 responses and only 3 yeses.
I decided to send out a broad invitation at work. 5 thanks, but can’t make its. 1 maybe.
The party was last night.
I had 1 midday cancelation. 1 no show. 1 of the husbands ended up having to work. But we had 3 families over, including 1 work family. There were 7 kids, plus 2 babies…so the kids didn’t feel it was underattended.
Mark wanted to be prepared in case we had people come who didn’t RSVP. We cooked 40lbs of chicken. Holy smokes….that’s a lot of chicken. The chicken was fantastic.
24 habaneros for 20lbs of chicken. Plus another 3 for the vinegar sauce. It was that perfect hotness that is right on the edge of being too much.
I made rice and peas and coleslaw, cut up a pineapple and some strawberries. Evelyn’s cake was great and almost completely devoured last night. The lady across the street brought a tropical ambrosia style salad.
So, I’d describe it as a very enjoyable evening, but a complete failure as a party. Still, I’ll probably try again.
Now I have to start planning Owen’s party.