Monday, August 02, 2010

Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas

We had planned an evening of tiki cocktails with M and J to use some of the lovely rum they gave me for my birthday. While we were thinking about Caribbean drinks, I decided to be adventurous and try my hand at Caribbean cooking. I live pretty close to Ridley Road market which is great for picking up all the things you need to make Caribbean food - I will be going back much more frequently since it is so much cheaper than the supermarkets!

Update: Tried this recipe again with some tweaks (included below) on some more friends, including J & A who know their Caribbean food, and it went over well!

Jerk Chicken

Adapted from Food Stories


1.5 tablespoons ground mixed spice (I used Tropical Sun brand)
100g dark molasses brown sugar
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (dried or fresh)
1 bunch spring onions (about 6)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded
Juice of 1 large lime
1 tsp salt
Chicken pieces (I used 10 thighs, bone-in)


Blend all the marinade ingredients together in a food processor and smother over the chicken, rubbing it in well. I used gloves for this and for deseeding the scotch bonnets. Refrigerate overnight (or for four days, as I did - the flavor really just gets better over time).

BBQ the chicken if you are so lucky to have a BBQ, or cook in the oven on a baking tray at 190C for 30-40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and the juices run clear.

If you are using shrimp, then marinate the shrimp in the jerk paste overnight and then thread shrimp onto skewers. BBQ or grill in the oven until just done (it's very quick, probably only about 5 minutes).

I added an extra scotch bonnet the second time around (which is included in the 4 scotch bonnets in the recipe above) - it was still a pretty mild heat so I think one or two more chillies won't hurt. The mix of heat and sweetness is addictive though - fantastic recipe (thanks to Food Stories!)

Rice and Peas
Adapted from Eat Jamaican

3 cups white rice
1 small red onion
1 can of pigeon peas (gunga beans)
1 can of coconut milk
1 tsp salt


Finely dice red onion and add to rice cooker. Add rice and salt. Drain the can of pigeon peas into a measuring cup and then top up with the can of coconut milk and water to make 4.5 cups of liquid. Pour liquid into rice cooker and add drained pigeon peas and give everything a good stir. Use normal setting on rice cooker to cook. 

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