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20.Jerk Chicken

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 42 mins
Total Time 1 hr 7 mins
Servings 6 people


  • 12 Chicken thighs, bone in
  • Lime
  • Lime, halved
  • Hot sauce, to serve (optional)


  • Big bunch spring onions
  • Spring onions roughly chopped
  • Thumb-sized piece ginger
  • Ginger roughly chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • ½ a small onion
  • Onion
  • 3 Scotch bonnet chillies, deseed if you want less heat (these are really hot)
  • ½ tsp Dried thyme, or 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • A lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground allspice

For the rice & peas:

  • 200 g Basmati rice
  • 400 g Can coconut milk
  • Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut
  • Bunch spring onions
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • 2 Large thyme
  • Sprigs
  • 2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Ground allspice
  • 2 x 410g cans kidney beans
  • Kidney beans scattered on a white surface, drained


  • Mix together the spring onions, ginger, garlic,onion, scotch bonnet chillies, (hot); dried thyme, lime juice, soy sauce,vegetable oil, brown sugar and ground allspice in a food processor along with 1tsp salt, and blend to a purée.
  • If you have trouble blending it, just keepturning off the blender, stirring the mixture, and trying again. Eventually itwill start to blend  – don't be temptedto add water, as you want a thick paste.
  • Taste the jerk mixture for seasoning – it shouldtaste pretty salty, but not unpleasant.
  • With a very small but sharp knife, make some incisions(not too deep) in 12 chicken thighs and pour the marinade over the meat,rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in thefridge.
  • If you want to barbecue your chicken, get thecoals burning 1 hr or so before cooking.
  • Authentic jerked meats are not exactly grilledas we think of grilling, but sort of smoke-grilled. To get a more authenticjerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook your chickenover slow, indirect heat for 30 mins.
  • To cook in the oven, heat to 180C/160C fan/gas4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the halved lime and cook for45 mins until tender and cooked through.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. Rinse the basmati rice in plenty of cold water, then tip it into a large saucepan. Add the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme sprigs, garlic and ground allspice.
  • Season with salt, add 300ml cold water and setover a high heat. Once the rice begins to boil, turn it down to a medium heat,cover and cook for 10 mins. Add the kidney beans to the rice, then cover with alid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Squeeze the roasted lime over the chicken andserve with the rice & peas, and some hot sauce if you like it really spicy.