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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22nd Jan, 2015
I have used both aduki and kidney beans in this recipe, and I'd say the aduki are a great substitute. Black beans are what you would normally find in rice & peas in Jamaica, and I can confirm they are really good too.
17th Oct, 2014
Gorgeous tasting chicken. So nice making the paste from scratch. I served with plain rice and a jerk vegetable curry.
17th Oct, 2014
Delicious..yummmm Followed recipe apart from i used one scotch bonnett...and it was very spicy...3 imo would have been way too hot.... But yummy....ill defo do again
Mr Spicy
20th Aug, 2014
After tasting the amazing jerk chicken at the Sheffield farmers' market I was determined to give this a go to see if it compared to what the Jamaican ladies cook up. It's much drier than the jerk stew from the market but no less flavoursome. I stuck to the recipe for my first attempt and de-seeded the scotch bonnets; my girlfriend doesn't do spicy so just the smell was making her eyes itch but I'll refrain from de-seeding the chillies next time for some real kick.
20th Jul, 2014
Just made this, was very tasty. Next time I would make more marinade for people who prefer a sauce with their meat.
6th Jul, 2014
My late mother in law was Jamacian and she taught me to cook West Indian food and she always used Black Eyed Peas in her rice and peas. You can either use dried Black Eye peas just soak them over night with a Spring Onion (Scallion) and they will swell up, then take half a block of Coconut Cream and let it gently melt in the water with the peas before adding the Basmati rice. Or you can buy tins of Black Eyed Peas in the supermarket, just drain the peas and add to the rice with half a tin of Coconut Milk and mix well making sure the peas are well distributed in the rice, add enough water to cook the rice, simmer gently until the water is absorbed and the rice cooked and fluffy. The Black Eyed Peas should be soft and add a nice soft texture to the rice.
Lisa Stacey's picture
Lisa Stacey
28th Jun, 2014
Great recipe, even the rice, worth the effort
Happy feet
10th May, 2014
Loved the chicken. Having read the reviews I decided to swap the rice for potato wedges and a slaw. I used two scotch bonnets, without seeds, but next time I make this I would use 3 chillies. Would highly recommend this dish.
barryfloyd's picture
2nd Apr, 2014
This is brilliant. Just the right amount of heat and, despite the long list of ingredients, is really easy to shop for and prepare. You will need a food processor of some description, I think, but the result is gorgeous. Will definitely make this again.
23rd Feb, 2014
This recipe is so easily adaptable. I tend to use the most of the ingredients and then pop in a couple tbsps of ready-made jerk seasoning. Tastes fantastic everytime! Soy sauce is a great addition. I also make it in the slow cooker and whack in a few extra veg to bulk the recipe out some more. It's a regular!


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