Recently while on holiday in Jamaica we had the opportunity to try Jerk Chicken for the first time. I was instantly a fan, you really can’t go wrong with spicy chicken dipped in even spicier jerk sauce.
One night we decided to go to a local restaurant where the owner, Cheryl, sold her own jerk sauce, I couldn’t resist buying some to bring home and incorporate into a recipe in some way. At that point I didn’t know just how spicy the sauce was.
It wasn’t very hard to decide what the meal was going to be…
Jerk Chicken Pizza Pockets with home made pizza dough and a pizza sauce using some of Cheryl’s jerk sauce. Since I was just making it up as I went the amount of jerk sauce was just a guess and might have been a little bit too spicy but still very good.
Having never made pizza dough before I was excited to try it out and just hoped all the pieces came together and I ended up with pizza dough. Since activiating the yeast is the first step you are going to know right from the start whether you are going to have the beginnings of a successful pizza dough.
My first attempt at activating the yeast was unsuccessful because my husband pointed out that the recipe I was using didn’t call for sugar with the yeast and warm water. After my husband explained the nature of yeast and how to work sucessfully with it I now know you need sugar to get it moving.
I threw out the first batch and started over with my last package of instant yeast and some sugar. Within less than minute I saw the yeast start to bubble and I was getting excited, so far so good. After all the rising and punching down I was left with a ball of pizza dough just waiting to be made into pizza pockets.
Now it was time to cook the chicken and if you are going to have jerk chicken pizza pockets you need jerk chicken. I put together a jerk seasoning, covered the chicken in it and then baked.
Then came assembly.
I now see that stretching out pizza dough it not an easy task although it was fun trying all kinds of different methods and seeing the funny shaped pizza’s in the end. The more I made the better I got and by the end I had made a nice looking pizza pocket.
It was great fun making pizza dough for the first time but also taking something that I had enjoyed while on holiday and making it my own. The pizza pocket was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside filled with spicy jerk chicken and accompanied with jerk pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. What a great meal and so much fun to make.
Pizza DoughAdapted from Annie’s Eats Perfect Pizza Crust
1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cup water, room temperature
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Measure the warm water into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup and add the sugar. Stir in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil, stir to combine.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, briefly combine the dry ingredients at a slow speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at a low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into two equal pieces and start forming pizzas.
Jerk Pizza SauceAdapted from Life’s Ambrosia
1 (14.5) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon jerk sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble slightly. Reduce heat and simmer for 15- 20 minutes.
Jerk SeasoningAdapted from Serious Eats
1/4 cup allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chile powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
With a mortar and pestle crush all ingredients together and place in a sealable container until ready to use.