Monday, 30 April 2012

Jerk Chicken Rice 'n' Peas

I felt like a jerk today. Jerk chicken that is.

The chicken breasts have been marinating for 48 hours – not because they needed that long, but because I started a day too early. It was great homing home tonight to find that most of the hard work for this evening's dinner had already been done – all I had to do was stick it in the oven and get the accompaniments ready.

Jerk Chicken Rice 'n' Peas

2 chicken breasts
1 small handful coriander leaves and a lime to serve

For the jerk seasoning

2 tbsp allspice berries
tsp coriander seeds
tbsp black peppercorns
tbsp fresh thyme leaves
tsp ground cinnamon
tsp ground nutmeg
tsp ground cloves
6 garlic cloves
4 spring onions, chopped
1 small bunch coriander
4 Scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded
1 small knob of fresh ginger
2 tbsp sweetener
3 tbsp lime juice

For the rice and peas

100g basmati rice
410g tin kidney beans
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground allspice

For the melon pineapple salsa

¼ melon, chopped
¼ fresh pineapple, chopped
½ red onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
juice of one lime
a little sweetener (optional)

Grind together the allspice, coriander and peppercorns until quite fine, then liquidise with all the other jerk ingredients until it forms a smooth paste. Place chicken breasts in a plastic bag and coat with the paste, giving them a good massage with your hands to ensure they are well coated. Refrigerate overnight.

Cook the chicken at 220°C for 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Boil the rice in the liquid from the tin of kidney beans with the garlic and allspice, adding water if necessary. For the last few minutes, add the beans to heat through. Mix all the salsa ingredients together.

Serve with your favourite chilli sauce on the side for those who like their food hot!

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