In this recipe, Tony Stephens, Executive Head Chef at one of our most prestigious sites, shares his mum’s fantastic Jamaican jerk chicken recipe. Below is a bit of background on what makes this stunning dish so special.
“Back in the 1970s my dad got paid on a Thursday and my mum would buy a chicken. She’d then clean it, cut it and marinade it, military style! When my mum cooks she cooks with love, her jerk chicken always tasted amazing and she’d always always add just the right amount of ingredients to get the same taste every time – that’s experience for you! The marinading process takes three days, so the chicken was always ready for our Sunday lunch. I know lots of people have chicken for their Sunday lunch, but I promise you, this is special.
Sundays back then were a magical time for us, Dad used to play Bob Marley albums and make our favourite drinks – Guinness punch and carrot juice. We always sat around the table as a family, except when friends and family came over, then it was every man, woman and child for him or her self! They were great times; loads of talking, jokes, smiles and empty plates. I know everyone says their mum’s the best cook, but mine is truly awesome, she still cooks jerk chicken and my kids love it.”
Recipe (serves 4)
Jerk chicken recipe
4 chicken quarters with skin on
3 tablespoons oil
1 bunch spring onions roughly sliced
Thumb size piece of ginger peeled & chopped
6 garlic gloves chopped
2-3 scotch bonnets finely chopped (if you don’t want it hot, just use one. If you want it even milder, take out the seeds and discard)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
6-8 tablespoons Dunn’s River Jamaican jerk seasoning
3 tablespoons oil
- Rinse the chicken under cold water, dry and slash the skin 3 times – but not too deep. Squeeze the lemon juice over chicken and massage. Leave to rest in fridge for around an hour.
- In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients together. You should get a dry paste, now rub over the chicken making sure every part of it is well coated.
- Place the chicken in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days and a minimum of 24 hours (I prefer 3 days)
- Cook in an oven for around 45 minutes at 180c
- While the chicken is cooking make the rice ‘n’ peas (recipe below)
Rice ‘n’ peas
200g dried kidney beans (soak them overnight in cold water in the fridge. Dried kidney beans are best as they taste better and give the rice the correct colour, but you can use canned kidney beans. Just don’t soak them.)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
½ onion finely chopped
3 spring onions finely chopped
3 sprigs of thyme
2 garlic cloves chopped
¼ scotch bonnet (if you want the rice hotter, use more)
1tsp Dunn’s River all-purpose seasoning
200g block coconut cream grated
2 teaspoons salt
400g Long grain white rice (I love long grain rice, but basmati rice can be used)
- Drain kidney beans and rinse with cold water. Fill a saucepan with 1.5 litres of cold water, bring to the boil and add kidney beans. Boil for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 35 minutes until the beans are soft.
- In another pan, fry the onions with oil, spring onions, thyme, garlic, all-purpose seasoning and scotch bonnet. Cook for 7 minutes on a medium heat and then add to the beans
- Wash the rice and add to the beans, cook for about 20-25 mins until all the liquid has evaporated.
It is always served with coleslaw and often with a Jamaican style hot sauce. When you want to impress, add a portion of fried plantain. So grab a glass of Guinness punch and carrot juice and enjoy!