Editor’s note: Daphne Oz first captured our hearts with her inspiring cookbook, Relish, but it wasn’t until we featured her as part of our “Entertaining With” series that we officially wanted to sign up to be besties with the award-winning TV personality and chef. So when we got wind that Daphne’s new cookbook, The Happy Cook, was hitting shelves last month, we raced to get ourselves a copy. Not surprisingly, the book features 125 recipes that we can’t get enough of; her Chocolate Almond Breakfast Bars are a weekday morning life-saver, her Thai Nicoise Salad was an instant favorite, and her Outlaw Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream is high up there on my must-bake list. Love healthy and easy recipes as much as we do? Scroll down for an exclusive from Daphne’s book. We promise you’ll want to make and remake her Jerk Chicken and Sweet Potatoes over and over…
From Daphne: My senior year in college, a bunch of friends and I visited Jamaica. On the drive home after a trip we’d taken to hike up the side of a breathtaking waterfall, we discovered a little locals-only restaurant serving up the most insane jerk chicken and stinging cold beers. I’ve been trying to replicate the experience ever since.
Now, I don’t have an outdoor pit, or the local wood that creates just the right smoke, or the expert hands of the Jamaican masters who make this stuff day in and day out. But I do have a good mouth for replicating meals that I love. Jerk seasoning is heady with flavors you typically find in pumpkin pie—allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar—but tempered with cumin, thyme, and garlic. You can take the spiciness up or down a notch, depending on what you love—the hellfire-hot Scotch bonnet pepper is traditional, but that is for expert heat-eaters only. Any leftovers make for delicious chicken salad if you’re going light, or stuffed into incredible empanadas if you want to fry up a golden delight as a party appetizer or just to treat yourself.
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 2 large sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise, each half quartered into 4 wedges
- 8 scallions, ends trimmed but whole
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 8 chicken pieces (drumsticks and thighs, separated)
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of the oil.
- In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes and scallions. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Toss to combine, then turn the mixture out onto the baking sheet, leaving room on one side for the chicken.
- In the same bowl, combine the brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, thyme, cumin, ginger, paprika, garlic powder, nutmeg, cayenne (if using), and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine, then add the chicken and toss to coat well.
- Arrange the chicken skin side up on the baking sheet with the veggies. Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue to roast about 20 minutes longer, until the thickest part of a chicken thigh reads 160°F on an instant-read thermometer and the sweet potatoes are tender.
- Transfer everything to a platter for serving. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve.