I really love my spices and I wanted to try something that I had not done before, so I did a bit of online reading and decided to do my take on a Jamaican classic – jerk chicken with rice and peas. I did not want to go out and buy loads of new ingredients so I took what I had in the cupboard to make a spicy marinade for the chicken and cooked the rice in coconut milk for that Jamaican twist.
- 4 large garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- 2 cardamom pods – seeds removed and crushed
- ½ teaspoon powder ginger
- ½ juice lemon
- 2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 whole medium chicken
Ingredients for the rice and peas:
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 x spring small onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 cups of rice
- Sweetcorn as side
Prepare the chicken (you can do this 24 hours before cooking).
- Dice 3 of the garlic finely and slice the other. Place the sliced garlic to the side.
- Put all of the spices into a bowl with the diced garlic, squeeze in the lemon juice and oil and mix (you should add enough oil to make a nice thick paste) season to taste.
- Place the chicken in a glass oven tray and stab it all over the top and bottom to make small insertions. Rub salt all over the chicken. Insert the sliced garlic into the insertions. Rub the paste all over the chicken and let it marinade covered in cling film in the fridge.
- Pre-heat the oven. Cover the chicken in foil. Place in the oven and set a timer to go off at the chicken’s halfway point (Read the label for cooking instructions, a medium chicken should take 1hr30 at 190).
- 10 minutes before the timer is due to go off, prepare all the elements for the rice and peas. Take a jug to drain the kidney beans water into and add the coconut milk. You will require 4 cups of liquid for the rice.
- Dice the onion and garlic.
- Rinse the rice until the water runs clean.
- Take a pot with a tight fitting lid and warm up the oil over a medium heat.
- Turn your attention back to the chicken. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken in the juices – get as much of the liquid from the bottom of the dish on top of the chicken.
- Place the onion and garlic in the pot and fry slightly till slightly browning. Take a cup and measure out the liquid from the kidney beans and the coconut milk. Add water to make up the full 4 cups required. Add the sprigs of fresh thyme into the pot and bring to the boil.
- Add the rice and stir for 1 minute, adding in the kidney beans. Reduce the heat so that the rice is gently bubbling and place the scotch bonnet pepper on the top. Put the lid back on. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Do not be tempted to open the lid! Just leave it to do its thing.
- When the timer goes off check the rice – if you stir it the rice should be cooked but not dry. If your rice needs a bit longer, ensure there is still enough water in the pot and continue to cook or turn off the heat. Remember to remove scotch bonnet pepper before serving.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and baste in the juices. Cover with foil and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Boil up some water and cook the sweetcorn.
- Once the sweetcorn is cooked plate up!