RECIPE: Matt Preston's sweet potato zoodles with jerk chicken

In this easy Caribbean-inspired recipe, the popular 'MasterChef Australia' judge proves you can cook anything over the coals - even veggie noodles!

10 December 2017 - 00:00 By Matt Preston

Serves: 6
12 chicken drumsticks
60ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
½ pineapple, peeled and cut into 1cm thick small wedges
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
½ bunch coriander, roots and stems washed and finely chopped, sprigs reserved
Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra lime cheeks, to serve
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
800g sweet potatoes, made into noodles using a spiraliser
Jerk marinade:
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 spring onions, coarsely chopped
2 long red chillies, deseeded but veins left in, chopped
60ml (¼ cup) coarsely chopped coriander
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated
30ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar
15ml (3 tsp) ground allspice
10ml (2 tsp) thyme leaves
10ml (2 tsp) salt
5ml (1 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
2.5ml (½ tsp) ground cinnamon
15ml (1 tbsp) cider vinegar
1. To make the jerk marinade, combine all the ingredients in a processor and blitz until a smooth and wet paste forms.
2. Place the chicken in a large zip-lock bag and add the marinade. Seal and toss to coat. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
3. Preheat a lidded barbeque (like a Weber) to 180ºC. (Or roast in the oven as I did.)
4. Remove chicken from the bag and drizzle with 15ml (1 tbsp) of the oil. Place on the barbecue grill, shut the lid and reduce the heat to medium.
5. Cook, turning every 10 minutes, for 40-45 minutes, until the chicken is well charred and cooked through.
6. After chicken has been cooking 30 minutes, drizzle the pineapple with  1 tbsp of the oil. Cook on the barbecue for 5 minutes each side. Transfer to a tray with the chicken, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
7. While pineapple is grilling, combine the onion, chilli, coriander roots and stems, lime zest and juice in a bowl. Season.
8. Once the barbie is free, drizzle the flat plate with the remaining oil and add the sweet potato noodles.
9. Barbecue for 3 minutes, or until slightly softened but not completely wilted. Transfer to a serving platter.
10. Top sweet potato with pineapple and chicken and spoon on the onion mixture.
11. Scatter with the coriander sprigs and serve with lime cheeks.
Nico van der Merwe Nicolas White 2013
A blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon that reveals a complex mouthfeel and long fruity finish. These refreshing fruit flavours and added sweetness balance out the spiciness of this dish.
• This recipe was extracted from 'Yummy Easy Quick' by Matt Preston, published by Pan Macmillian, R399.

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