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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23rd Apr, 2013
My fiance and I really enjoyed this dish. I didn't have any scotch bonnets so used two thai chillis, a green chilli and a red chilli, kept the seeds in all four chillis and I think it was just the right heat level for us. I didn't fancy making the fattening coconut rice so served the chicken with savoury rice and salad. Yummy.
16th Apr, 2013
Loved it. The only slight disappointment was the rice which was slightly wet. The flavours in the rice were fantastic though. I used 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper and one deseeded scotch bonnet and I love spice. That was just right for me.
ccusworth's picture
23rd Mar, 2013
Really yummy and the coconut rice really complements the chicken! Yum!
21st Mar, 2013
Made this yesterday and it went down a treat. I used chicken breasts though, as I'm not a fan of thigh meat. I probably had too much meat though as there wasn't any sauce left at the end of the cooking. Also, I will omit the allspice from the rice next time, as it overpowered the coconut, which we couldn't taste at all. This is a great recipe though - I will definitely cook again.
20th Mar, 2013
Gorgeous, once the marinade was done it was so simple!
13th Mar, 2013
I followed the recipe and stupidly used three scotch bonnet chillies along with the seeds. It more or less ruined the meal as our mouths were on fire! I thought the recipe was very authentic though and will definitely make again with less chillies! I wasn't overly impressed with how the rice turned out - it was a bit of a mush which I put down to the basmati rice - will try using long grain rice next time.
10th Feb, 2013
I made this last night as per the recipe, except that I used 6 bird eye chillis rather than the scotch bonnets. I ate a spoonful of marinade before cooking and it was seriously hot. I used a free range chicken in quarters, served with new potato wedges and rocket salad instead of the rice and peas. Great recipe and will do again on the barbeque if it ever stops raining!
3rd Feb, 2013
Was damn tasty but way too hot for me. I want to make this again soon, but I'll remove the seeds from the chilies next time. Everyone loved it though, even if we couldn't feel our mothes for a few hours! I froze a portion and it cooked from frozen fine in the microwave.
29th Jan, 2013
P.S. Husband and I only used half the number of chicken thighs (i.e. 6), but we kept all the other amounts for the jerk marinade as if we were doing 12 thighs. The flavour was amazing, and we got a bit of extra sauce/gravy at the end to pour over the chicken and rice.
29th Jan, 2013
This recipe is absolutely outstanding! I must admit, when I first read the ingredients for the rice and peas I wasn't sure they'd all go together, but the both the chicken and rice and peas were truly fantastic. Do try it. I'm now planning on making John Torode's Jamaican Goat Curry.


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