Jerk chicken on an oven tray

Jerk chicken with rice & peas

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(93 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 45 mins Plus overnight marinating


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: per serving

  • kcal757
  • fat43g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre6g
  • protein38g
  • salt2.6g
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  • 12 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 1 lime, halved



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • hot sauce, to serve (optional)

For the marinade

  • 1 big bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • thumb-sized piece ginger, roughly chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ a small onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, or 1 tbsp thyme leaves


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 lime, juiced



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    Soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice

For the rice & peas

  • 200g basmati rice
  • 400g can coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 2 large thyme sprigs


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 x 410g cans kidney beans, drained
    Kidney beans scattered on a white surface

    Kidney beans

    kid-nee beenz

    Native to the Americas, kidney beans are so called because of their shape and come in very…


  1. To make the jerk marinade, combine the spring onions, ginger, garlic, onion, scotch bonnet chillies, dried thyme, lime juice, soy sauce, vegetable oil, brown sugar and ground allspice 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 12 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. 

  5. To cook in the oven, heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the halved lime and cook for 45 mins until tender and cooked through.

  6. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. Rinse the basmati rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan. Add the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme sprigs, garlic and ground allspice.

  7. 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. Add the kidney beans to the rice, then cover with a lid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed.

  8. Squeeze the roasted lime over the chicken and serve with the rice & peas, and some hot sauce if you like it really spicy.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Sarah Evans-Boyd's picture
Sarah Evans-Boyd
14th Sep, 2019
Just trying this recipe for the first time ... Like peas, but no mention of 'peas' in the ingredients... come on John torode! ... will see how this turns out!
Seeg's picture
9th Sep, 2019
I follow this recipe step by step, it turned out horrible, was way too hot to even taste true jerk chicken, the rice was mushy even though I measured out the exact amounts, disappointed with this recipe and could not even eat it.
4th Feb, 2019
The worst marinade I’ve tasted couldn’t eat it
25th Aug, 2018
This is a great recipe for the BBQ. Everyone that I have made it for loves it! (Even those that aren’t great spice fans.) There’s something about it that keeps you coming back for more!
Angela Schueler
10th Jun, 2018
Had this jerk chicken for the first time at a barbecue last night and it was scrumptious. This will appear on my menu at home frequently!
John Blakely's picture
John Blakely
23rd Mar, 2018
I wouldn’t normally comment on a Good Food recipe, they are generally excellent, but in this case I must make an exception. It is horrible! Unless All Spice is your top favourite thing in the whole world then this recipe is a no no. All Spice in the marinade AND the rice? What? Horrendous. I like John Torode and his recipies but this one is bad. :@!
Christopher Heslin's picture
Christopher Heslin
11th Dec, 2017
Perfect. Will now be a weekly meal at my house. Thanks. Can anyone give me a decent replacement for kidney beans please? Tia.
Keith Johnson's picture
Keith Johnson
6th Dec, 2017
This is the first Jerk chicken recipe that I have tried and I will never change. It's perfect. I have made it three times now and it never fails to disappoint. Last time I made it with pork belly slices and grilled them (after marinating overnight). It's a delicious alternative. I make this and freeze it in portions in plastic freezer bags. That way, when you want to use it, you can just chuck the meat inside the same bag and leave it in the fridge overnight to marinate. Remember to massage the marinade into the meat a couple of times throughout the process. It's perfect!
1st Dec, 2017
Amazing flavours! My partner is from the carribbean and he says it’s the best he has ever tasted. Yum!
23rd Jul, 2017
Fantastic chicken. The flavours were wonderful. Not so sure about the coconut rice because it was so solid and sticky, but it went really well flavour-wise with the chicken.


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29th Aug, 2018
The marinade recipe was superb! Packed with flavour and everyone polished the plate. Well worth the effort. I baked the chicken thighs and covered them with tin foil to prevent them from burning. Set the oven at 190 Celsius and it took 1.5 hours to cook the chicken. As for the rice, followed the recipe except I only used 125ml water and it turned out fine.
13th Jul, 2017
Good jerk chicken receipe I had to use 4 scotch bonnets with seeds to get the right level of heat
23rd Mar, 2014
Use less of the allspice. This was really flavoursome, but we found the allspice overpowering!
24th Feb, 2014
Great recipe - but too much liquid for the rice, should have known better. I would suggest cutting down the water to 150ml you can always add a little more if needed.
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