Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Caribbean food is vibrant, both in colour and taste. It’s simple but hugely effective and it’s perfect for days like these (except when you’re in the Caribbean. Then it’s acceptable any day).

Anyway, here’s just another Jerk Chicken recipe. I got it off my friend’s boyfriend (who was also kind enough to give me a recipe for rice & peas, too).

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Jerk Chicken with Rice & Peas and Chopped Salad

This is authentic and hot. It is bursting with flavour from all of the different spices, it’s cooling from the rice and fresh with the chopped salad. The jerk marinade needs to be put together at least 8 hours before serving (to allow the marriage of flavours, etc), but the longer the better. It’s a reasonably dry mix, so don’t be alarmed – I haven’t missed anything out. I oven cook it here, but it would be incredible barbecued, when the weather deems fit. As with any jerk marinade, you can use it on anything – steak, pork, fish, seafood, veggies. Anything.

Attention: Please wear gloves to prevent chilli burn when handling the marinade.

Jerk Chicken Rice Peas Chopped Salad
Jerk Chicken Rice Peas Chopped Salad

Jerk Chicken

  • 1.5tbsp ground allspice
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme (leaves only)
  • 5 spring onions, chopped (green bits & all)
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2tsp ground cloves
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli, very finely chopped
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp ground black pepper
  • Pack of chicken thighs/legs/both (skin on, bone in)

Rice & Peas

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 200g rice (none of that easy-cook stuff)
  • 400g tinned red kidney beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1tsp fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 scotch bonnet, left whole

Chopped Salad

  • 1 iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 romano pepper, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, ripped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Glug of good olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Jerk Chicken

  • ^For the marinade, combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Massage into the chicken with your hands. Leave, covered, in the fridge to marinade for at least 8 hours.
  • ^When ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan, gas mark 4).
  • ^Transfer the chicken to an ovenproof dish and, using a pastry brush, put 1/3 of the remaining marinade over the chicken. DO NOT THROW OUT THE REST. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  • ^Baste the chicken at least twice with the remaining marinade during cooking.
  • ^The chicken is done when the juices run clear.

Rice & Peas

  • ^In a saucepan, fry the garlic and onion until softened.
  • ^Add the coconut milk and thyme and bring to the boil.
  • ^Stir in the rice and beans, and lower the heat to a simmer. Place the scotch bonnet on top.
  • ^The rice is done when it’s absorbed all of the coconut milk.

Chopped Salad

  • ^Mix all the salad vegetables together.
  • ^Drizzle the lemon juice and oil onto the salad and season with a good amount of salt and pepper.
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