Jerk chicken with rice & peas

Jerk chicken with rice & peas

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(33 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 45 mins Plus overnight marinating

Skill level



Serves 6

The Jamaican marinade has many versions, but John Torode likes his super spicy with a dash of soy and served with coconut basmati

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 12 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 1 lime, halved
  • hot sauce, to serve (optional)

For the jerk marinade

  • 1 big bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ a small onion
  • 3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, or 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice

For the rice & peas

  • 200g basmati rice
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 2 large thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 x 410g cans kidney beans, drained

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  1. To make the jerk marinade, combine all the ingredients in a food processor along with 1 tsp salt, and blend to a purée. If you’re having trouble getting it to blend, just keep turning off the blender, stirring the mixture, and trying again. Eventually it will start to blend up – don’t be tempted to add water, as you want a thick paste.
  2. Taste the jerk mixture for seasoning – it should taste pretty salty, but not unpleasantly, puckering salty. You can now throw in more chillies if it’s not spicy enough for you. If it tastes too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar until the mixture tastes well balanced.
  3. Make a few slashes in the chicken thighs and pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.
  4. If you want to barbecue your chicken, get the coals burning 1 hr or so before you’re ready to cook. Authentic jerked meats are not exactly grilled as we think of grilling, but sort of smoke-grilled. To get a more authentic jerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook your chicken over slow, indirect heat for 30 mins. To cook in the oven, heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the lime halves and cook for 45 mins until tender and cooked through.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. Rinse the rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan with all the remaining ingredients except the kidney beans. Season with salt, add 300ml cold water and set over a high heat. Once the rice begins to boil, turn it down to a medium heat, cover and cook for 10 mins.
  6. Add the beans to the rice, then cover with a lid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed. Squeeze the roasted lime over the chicken and serve with the rice & peas, and some hot sauce if you like it really spicy.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2012

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cindersofstamford's picture
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I was fed up with take always so for a little while ago we decided no moe takeaways on a Saturday and hubby and I have something different which we cook (well I do lol) we have made some lovely tai, Chinese, Indian so we thought we'd try Caribbean. Not an expert on that style f food but remember having jerk chicken in a Caribbean restaurant once so decided to make this.... It was fantastic, better than the restaurant. Rice and beans was lovely as well. Was worried it would be dry as hubby likes lots of sauce, but not the case wouldn't change a thing. Will make again very soon.

carlmarsh's picture

This recipe was the hit of the summer! All the family loved it, as did more than one set of guests. Glad to add it to my binder as I know we'll be making this pretty regularly from now on.

quincepip's picture
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Pretty good, I had to leave out the chillies as sharing with a toddler but slathered my portion in Tabasco and that worked ok! Next time I'll barbecue rather than bake as it would benefit from the crispy, charred flavour.

gregbrown54's picture

The peas should be cooked first and then the rice added afterwards to the same water, giving the rice the flavour from the peas. it should be a little pink Aly D.

Heat can be adjusted by removing some of the seeds from the peppers... Also allspice refers to Pimento berries... You can usually find these in ethnic sections of the supermarket...

annamoles's picture
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Superb! Really lovely with a spicy kick that everyone in my house enjoyed! I think the amounts stated in the marinade are perfect. I used whole legs (thighs and drumsticks separated) which worked just the same (I think the skin and cooking on the bone add fantastic flavour) and I used 400g of dried kidney beans (soaked overnight and cooked in advance- more hassle but it's what I had).

worrworr's picture
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Used chicken breasts as I had them in, just adjusted the cooking time a little. Used normal strength chillies as usually can't eat scotch bonnet ones but next time I definitely will - it was tasty but did need a bit of extra chilli kick.

alisondavey's picture
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I made this recipe using chicken breasts as I didn't have the thighs and it still worked really well. I only had one scotch bonnet chili but it was spicy enough just with that and I really love spicy food! It was delicious, and I didn't need to adjust the flavour balance of the paste. My husband and 14 year old son really loved it. Make sure you rinse the kidney beans really well, or they colour the rice pink!!