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~Jerk-Style Chicken & Slaw on Coco Bread Sandwich~

IMG_2371Don't worry, be happy -- especially if you've got some leftover Jamaican-style jerk chicken (or pork) on hand.  Warm or chilled, removed from the bones and pulled into succulent, bite-sized chucks and pieces, this full-of-Island-style aromatically-flavored poultry (or meat), when piled high on one of their signature freshly-baked and opened, rich-and-flaky coco bread sandwich rolls, is magnifique.  A slice of tomato or grilled pineapple and a heap of jerk-slaw takes it over the top.

IMG_2339Coco bread is an enriched Jamaican yeast bread that's a cross between a thin sandwich roll and a thick pocket bread. It's said the name comes from coconut due to its texture (a hard outside with a soft inside), not because coconut and/or coconut milk are ingredients (traditionally it contains neither). Like any bread, it can be eaten alone, broken apart and slathered with butter or dipped into Jamaican shrimp-,  chicken- or pork- curry dishes, it often used as a container for hot, savory, often sloppy fillings, by hollowing out the pocket with the fingertips to increase the size of the cavity.  I'm using it today in the same manner I would use a sandwich roll -- sliced to make a sandwich.  I purchase mine online from, a bakery in Long Island, NY.  They arrive fresh, six, 6-ounce individually-wrapped breads, which I freeze.

Herein lies the secret to my jerk-seasoned slaw:

IMG_2395Leave it to the Jamaicans.  I can't think of another exotic-to-me cuisine that does a better job of making my life easier.  I mean, seriously, they've cornered the market on marketing high-quality, bold-flavored dry-spice blends and rubs, wet pastes and marinades, barbecue, steak and hot pepper sauces, etc. -- when it comes to cooking Jamaican fare at home, some of their store-bought time-savers make me ponder why anyone would want to concoct "it" from scratch. Example:  A high-quality jerk barbecue sauce can transform a dollop of mayonnaise into a flavor bomb with one squirt.  Therein lies the secret to the dressing for my jerk-seasoned slaw.

IMG_231914  ounces bagged coleslaw mix

4  ounces bagged matchstick carrots (about 2 cups)

4  ounces very-thinly-sliced (shaved) red onion (about 1 cup)

1  cup mayonnaise, chilled

1/4  cup Jamaican jerk BBQ sauce

1  tablespoon malt vinegar

1  teaspoon mild molasses

1/2  teaspoon Scotch bonnet pepper

IMG_2326 IMG_2326 IMG_2326 IMG_2326~Step 1.  Slice red onion as directed, cut into half-moon shapes, then cut half-moons into thirds. Set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, jerk barbecue sauce, malt vinegar, molasses and Scotch bonnet pepper.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold in coleslaw, carrots and onion.  Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.  Overnight is best.  Serve chilled.

For six of my over-the-top Jamaican-jerk chicken sandwiches:

IMG_23476  Jamaican coco bread rolls

2  heads Bibb lettuce, soft leaves removed (5-6 leaves per sandwich, depending on size)

2-3  ripe, garden-fresh tomatoes, sliced (2-3 slices per sandwich, depending on size)

2-3  half Jamaican Spice-is-Nice Oven-Roasted Jamaican-Jerk Chickens, warm or chilled, meat pulled from bones (about 5-6 cups, about 1/2-3/4 cup per sandwich)

1/2  cup Jamaican-jerk-seasoned barbecue sauce (1 generous tablespoon per sandwich)

3  cups Jamaican jerk-seasoned slaw, from above recipe (1/3-1/2 cup per sandwich)

IMG_2350 IMG_2350 IMG_2350 IMG_2350 IMG_2350 IMG_2350 IMG_2350 IMG_2350~Step 1.  Layer and assemble each sandwich as follows:  1 warm cocoa bread roll, split (Lucina's coco breads get reheated in the microwave for 1 minute); 5-6 soft lettuce leaves, 2-3 tomato slices; 1/2-3/4 cup pulled chicken; a generous drizzle of barbecue sauce; 1/3-1/2 cup slaw.  

Put a lid on it & serve this mouthful-of-happiness ASAP:

IMG_2416The Jerk Chicken & Slaw on Coco Bread Sandwich:  Recipe yields 6 large sandwiches.

Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; whisk

IMG_1245Cook's Note:  Interestingly enough, ~ Don't Worry, Be Happy: Jamaican Beef Patties ~, an empanada-esque pastry is often stuffed inside a coco bread.  It seems odd to me too, but, when in Jamaica, don't question their food, just do as the Jamaican's do.  Eat.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


Oh I SO hope you do -- it is addictive. Joe and I could and would eat it once or twice a week!

There's Ligi
I've got to try this;

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