Jerk chicken on an oven tray

Jerk chicken with rice & peas

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(82 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 jerk 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…

  • juice 1 lime



    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 1 big bunch roughly chopped spring onions, a roughly chopped thumb-sized piece ginger, 3 garlic cloves, ½ small onion, 3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you like, ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp thyme leaves, juice of 1 lime, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp ground allspice in a food processor along with 1 tsp salt, and blend to a purée.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. If it tastes too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar until the mixture tastes well balanced.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 

  8. To cook in the oven, heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with 1 halved lime and cook for 45 mins until tender and cooked through.

  9. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. Rinse 200g basmati rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan.

  10. Add 400g can coconut milk, 1 bunch sliced spring onions, 2 large thyme sprigs, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and 1 tsp ground allspice.

  11. 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.

  12. Add two 410g cans drained kidney beans to the rice, then cover with a lid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed.

  13. 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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1st Aug, 2016
Was amazing!! Used a substitute to the allspice, but the flavours still flowed. Was the best Jerk Chicken I have ever had.
28th Jun, 2016
beer-can. very tasty marinade! i used 3 bonnets, for my taste not hot enough, and recommend frying the chicken off before oven. thanks john
Lady Pen
26th Jul, 2015
OMG!! Amazing...Best Jerk Chicken ever. Only used half the amount of scotch bonnet pepper just enough heat, my children love it. will be making again!
23rd Jul, 2015
Delicious recipe! I used chicken breasts as I prefer them but it was still very tasty. I used three chillies and it was the spiciness was perfect. Highly recommend this recipe!
michelle_30's picture
15th Jun, 2015
Forgot to rate!
michelle_30's picture
15th Jun, 2015
Made this saturday.... Absolutely lush!! I used 1 1/2 seeded & unseeded scotch bonnet and that was enough heat for me and i like it spicy!! Used a pack of chicken drumsticks instead of thighs. For the rice i always use long grain not basmati, 50g of creamed coconut, half onion and i dont add allspice. Usually i like 'dry jerk' but this was really good and the marinade provided a bit if sauce. Served also with festivals! Yum! My friend couldn't believe how tasty it wa and asked for the reciepe!
3rd May, 2015
I made this yesterday and oh my it was amazing, Im not the best in the kitchen but this was so easy to follow and it turned out perfect well impressed!
7th Feb, 2015
Thought it would be hard as ingredients list is quite long but it was incredibly quick and easy! Remember to plan ahead though I didn't realise you needed the chicken to marinade over night but an afternoon seemed ok nonetheless! Great for a Friday night in, will make again!
19th Dec, 2014
I've made this jerk chicken rice and peas several times now and it's fantastic. I use chicken legs, 3 chillies with seeds. I used 3 scotch bonnets once, fine for me my husband couldn't eat and my ate all his with tears streaming down his face!!
Andrea 853
4th Nov, 2014
I have made the chicken many times now with both thigh and breast meat and it is terrific! I use three scotch bonnet chillies with the seeds left in, and it has just the right amount of heat. I serve it with a green salad and have taken it to work for lunch too. I usually make a big batch then divide it into portions and into freezer bags the next day. I haven't tried the rice & beans yet, not a fan of kidney beans, might try it with a smaller bean like aduki or black eyed beans that have softer skins.


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