Saturday, 8 December 2012

Jerk chicken rice and peas

Whilst in Jamaica the Jerk chicken I ate was so far removed from the marinades and dry rub spices we buy here. Once home I decided to have a go at making it myself.

The chef at our hotel was always so busy tending to a large queue of people daily I didn't feel I could take up his time by quizzing him over his recipe and getting him to offer up his secret. I doubt he would have told me anyway! so when I got back home I looked up this recipe on this Jamaican website and decided to give it a go.

I slightly changed the amounts of certain ingredients (marked in orange) especially the amount of vinegar just as I felt it could overpower the spices, but you can use this recipe as a guide and add as much or take away what you don't like.

The result was amazing, very tasty and shall now be a regular in our household.

Authentic Jerk chicken eaten in Jamaica


One 3 1/2 lb chicken (3lb of chicken breasts may be used if preferred) I used 6 legs
6 sliced scotch bonnet peppers (jalapenos may be used if scotch bonnet peppers are unavailable) I removed the seeds as I didn't want it too spicy
2 Tbsp. thyme
2 Tbsp. ground allspice
8 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Medium onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tsp. ground black pepper
1 to 2 Tsp of the following (to taste)
1-ground cinnamon
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
Juice of one lime 
1 cup orange juice
1 cup white vinegar- I used 1/2 cup instead as I felt a full cup would be too much for my taste. 


Roughly Chop the onions, garlic and peppers. 
Add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients to make the jerk sauce.
Rub the sauce in to the meat, saving some for basting and dipping later.
Leave the chicken in the fridge to marinade overnight.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes,gas mark 6, turn the meat then bake for a further 30 minutes.
Baste with some of the remaining marinade whilst cooking.

Ingredients for Jerk chicken

Cut slits in the chicken so the marinade can penetrate through to the meat.

Pour over the marinade keeping some back for basting.

All the ingredients blend into a nice thick consistency.

I left the chicken marinading for 24 hours in the fridge.

 The marinade clung well to the meat.

 Chicken stayed nice and moist.

Rice and peas

Serves 4 people

1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or canola oil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 can pigeon peas (known as gungo peas) or kidney beans are fine.
1 cup water
1 cup lite coconut milk
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the rice and peas.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add garlic, green onion, and thyme, and saute for 2 minutes.
Add beans, water, and coconut milk to the pan, then stir and bring to a boil. Add in rice and salt, then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid as been absorbed, and rice is tender.

The finished Jerk chicken, rice and peas.

As you can see the finished dish does look like the original Jerk chicken I had in Jamaica (pic at the top of the page) the only difference is the Jamaicans then smear the dish with hot sauce or BBQ sauce. This tastes fantastic. I feel like I've brought a little bit of Jamaica back home.

If anybody has a go at making this dish I'd love to hear your views.

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