Jerk Chicken with Rice & Peas

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    This Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe has many varied versions but we think this is one of the best marinades you can make for Jerk chicken. Chicken thighs are used in this recipe to give the chicken an authentic taste of Jamaica along with the rice and peas!

    Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

    • 12 chicken thighs, bone in
    • 1 lime, halved
    • hot sauce, to serve (optional)
    • For the jerk marinade
    • 1 big bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
    • thumb-sized piece ginger, roughly chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • ½ a small onion
    • 3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat
    • ½ tsp dried thyme, or 1 tbsp thyme leaves
    • juice 1 lime
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp ground allspice
    For the rice & peas
    • 200g basmati rice
    • 400g can coconut milk
    • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
    • 2 large thyme sprigs
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp ground allspice
    • 2 x 410g cans kidney beans, drained
    How to make Jerk chicken with rice & peas

    To make the jerk marinade,
    1. combine all the ingredients 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. If it tastes too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar until the mixture tastes well balanced.
    4. Make a few slashes in the chicken thighs and pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.
    To cook in the oven
    1. Pre heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. 
    2. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the lime halves and cook for 45 mins until tender and cooked through
    3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. 
    4. Rinse the rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan with all the remaining ingredients except the kidney beans. 
    5. Season with salt, add 300ml cold water and set over a high heat. 
    6. Once the rice begins to boil, turn it down to a medium heat, cover and cook for 10 mins.
    7. Add the beans to the rice, then cover with a lid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed. 
    8. Squeeze the roasted lime over the chicken and serve with the rice & peas, and some hot sauce if you like it really spicy.

    Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2012
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