It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I’d grilled a bunch of jerk chicken the night before last, but thanks to a few kitchen mishaps (i.e., I added a little bit of water to a bottle of barbecue sauce to loosen the dregs, then shook it up…without screwing the lid on all the way. It was meant to go in with the marinade to make a sauce, but instead, hello, barbecue–covered stove!), I got distracted and charred the hell out of the skin. Underneath, the meat was still juicy and well-flavored, pretty darn good, really, and yesterday I planned to have the leftovers for dinner. As the day progressed, however, inspiration struck.
Jerk-chicken salad, I thought, on Triscuits—a sudden craving, I hadn’t had them in years—would be so much more fun than gnawing on a reheated chicken leg, and easier to eat in front of the computer, which is where I knew I’d be parked.
I scraped off the burned bits of skin and tore the meat into bite-size pieces as best as I could—harder to do with cold drumsticks than I’d imagined. I whisked the jerk sauce in with a spoonful of mayo, a chopped scallion, and the remnants of the grilled cherry-tomato salad I’d made as an accompaniment the night before, added a bit of salt and some tangy mustard, and scooped out a modest portion, crackers on the side.
It might have been the mayo-based sauce, or the fact that I used dark meat (yes, again), or maybe, possibly, the fact that I had numerous tastes (for seasoning purposes, of course) as I went along, but I only managed to eat a few bites of the finished product. Maybe the flavors needed more time to meld, maybe my genius idea wasn’t a great one to begin with. Who knows, but this incarnation just didn’t work for me.
The Triscuits, on the other hand, were delicious.