Serves a Crowd

Ramp Jerked Chicken with Roasted Ramps and Kale

April 30, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is the end of the brown bag of foraged ramps and I am sad. How did this recipe come about, well, we had ramps and we had a hankering for Caribbean food. Years ago I lived in Brooklyn on Washington at St. Johns and it was my introduction to great African, Jamaican and Caribbean food. I will never forget the first time I had curried goat with peas and rice and some fried plantains. I crave this food at certain times and it just so happened today we had ramps. It really is a great combination. Fried sweet potatoes with lime and cilantro are also a really nice side too. —thirschfeld

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a nice chicken recipe, which I think could pretty easily be increased to feed a crowd. The chicken turned out very tender and nicely crisped by the broiling. The ramp flavor added a definite bite. It was hard to decide how much lime juice to use in the basting process, but I opted to go for a smaller amount -- just a sprinkling each time -- and use a lot of the chicken juices as well, which I’m glad I did. I served this to a group of friends for supper, and everyone said they liked it. The greens were most delicious just after wilting them, so I might skip the baking step next time. They were great for soaking up some of the chicken juices. - fiveandspice —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 4 chicken thigh and leg qaurters
  • 10 ramp bottoms, white only greens reserved
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more for basting
  • 3 garlic, cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 bunches red kale, 1 1/2 lbs., rinsed and cut into ribbons
  • resrved ramp tops
  • 2 ounces smoked ham, small dice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Combine the ramps, chiles, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, garlic, allspice, nutmeg and thyme in a food processor and make it into a paste adding more lime juice if you need to.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and fresh ground pepper. Rub the paste all over the chicken and set the chicken on a tray and cover. Let marinate for 2 hours at least but 24 hours would be the ultimate.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a enameled Dutch oven over medium heat and ad the ham and butter. Once it starts to spit and sizzle add the ramp greens and season with salt and pepper. Add the kale and turn it with tongs until it starts to wilt. Cover it and slide it into the oven.
  4. Place the chicken on a sheet tray and slide it into the oven next to the kale. Set the timer for one hour. Baste the chicken with the extra lime juice about every 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the greens and the chicken. Turn the oven to broil. Once the broiler is heated slide the chicken in and broil until the tops are crispy and delicious, keep a close eye cause it will burn lickity split.
  6. Place the kale onto a large platter and arrange the chicken attractively on top. Pour any juices from the roasting pan across the top of the chicken and serve.
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4 Reviews

This looks wonderful and think I'll make this for dinner tonight. I'm curious about the reference to goat meat in your headnote - is it fairly common in Caribbean and Jamaican dishes? I'm putting together a butchery class for August that will feature goat and it's a little new to both me and the chef who will do the class.
thirschfeld May 1, 2010
Yes it is popular in the Caribbean. I was in the Turks and Caicos not long ago and had some great curried goat. It is also eaten a lot in Mexico and Africa. I actually really like it and there are a couple of restaurants in CA and Chicago that are starting to feature it.
thirschfeld April 30, 2010
For some reason it is not letting me edit the recipe and I just want to add that the ramp tops should be minced. Other than that please forgive all and any typos. The allspice and nutmeg should be ground.
thirschfeld April 30, 2010
Oh and this isn't just about heat an spice like a lot of jerk recipes. The jerk rub enhances and flavors the chicken and is in addition to unlike many jerk rubs where it is about heat and spice not about the chicken, pork, goat or whatever.