This is a dinner I cook when I want something relatively quick and nutritious but PACKED with flavour. I try to take the faff out of the recipe by using a shop bought jerk seasoning blend (I’ve used the Tesco finest one and find it’s really aromatic and gives a great end result).
The pineapple salsa is a really fabulous accompaniment to the dish because it adds a sweet, zingy freshness that cuts through the chilli spice and compliments the creamy coconut rice.
My husband and and I eat bigger portions than normal (lots of Training and big appetites) so we would eat two pieces of chicken but you might find one piece each is enough! If there are leftovers, it’ll make a cracking salad/wrap/sandwich the following day!!!
Caribbean Jerk Chicken With Rice and Peas
For the Chicken:
6-8 good quality chicken thighs
3 tbsp jerk chicken seasoning
Drizzle of rapeseed/olive oil
For the Rice and Peas:
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 garlic clove, squashed
1 onion, finely chopped
300ml coconut milk
¼ tsp ground allspice
300g long grain rice
2 sprigs of thyme
1 scotch bonnet chilli (you can use a regular red chilli if you want to avoid it being overly spicy!)
For the pineapple salsa:
500g fresh pineapple, skin removed and pineapple finely chopped to 1cm pieces (you can use tinned!) 1 red onion, diced A handful of coriander, chopped Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 red chilli finely chopped (use less or none of you want it Heat-free!)
Optional extra to serve- wedges of lime
1- Pre heat the oven to 200°C.
2- In an ovenproof dish, lay the chicken thighs, in a single layer. Sprinkle over the jerk seasoning and the oil and season with salt and pepper. Rub all over into the meat and then ensure the chicken is left skin side up in the pan. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (check it’s cooked all the way through and juices running from the chicken come out clear).
3- In a non-stick saucepan, fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add the squashed garlic, thyme sprigs and all spice.
4- Rinse the rice well in cold water until the water runs clear. Add to the onion mix.
Stir in the coconut milk, then tuck the whole chilli into the rice. The liquid should sit a couple of Cm above the rice mix.
5- Season with salt and pepper, then bring to a simmer, then cover tightly, turn the heat right down and cook for about 20 minutes without removing the lid.
6- To make the pineapple salsa: add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir together! Simple!
7- When the rice is cooked, locate and carefully remove the chilli, garlic and thyme. Fork through the rice to fluff it up, then season to taste.
8- Serve the rice in bowls, topped with 1 or 2 chicken thighs and the yummy pineapple salsa on the side!