Monday 6 February 2012

Valentine's Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Rice & Beans

This is my entry for the Find Me A Gift Valentine's Day blogger competition.

Remember to check out all of the Find Me A Gift Valentine's Day gifts which you could buy for your loved one.

My recipe is a main dish recipe that is sure to "spice" up your love life this Valentine's Day. It's a tried and tested recipe and it's one that I make regularly and goes down a storm with anyone who has ever tried it!

Make some delicious and authentic Jamaican Jerk chicken with rice and beans and find the way to your lovers heart through his/her stomach...


Preparation time: 60 minutes
Time to cook: 30-45 minutes
Serves: 4
Heat rating: Hot
Difficulty Rating: 3/5

Large packet of mini chicken breast fillets

For the dry jerk rub:
4g allspice
70g salt
20g garlic powder
25g sugar
1g chilli powder
2g ground cloves
4g dried thyme leaves
6g ground black pepper
10g cayenne pepper
3g ground cinnamon

For the rice and beans:
400g tin black eye beans
400g tin coconut milk
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups long grain rice (not easy cook)
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon thyme
2-3 Scotch Bonnet peppers

Mix all of the ingredients for the dry jerk rub in a large bowl until they are all well mixed together. You can store an remaining jerk rub in an airtight container and it will keep for around a month.

Pierce the chicken fillets a few times and rub in 1-2 teaspoons of the dry jerk rub. For best results, leave to marinate overnight, or put in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to cooking. Or as in my case above, I only left it for 10 minutes as I was short on time, which doesn't produce the best results, but does taste good nonetheless.

As a suggestion, my husband is vegetarian, so if you or someone you are cooking for is too, simply replace the real chicken with some Quorn chicken alike fillets. I make that for Paul, but real chicken fillets for me and David.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and put the chicken fillets on a baking tray in the middle of the oven for 30-45 minutes (may take more or less time depending on the size of fillets you choose).

In the meantime, put the oil and coconut milk into a large pan and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, add the water, onion, garlic, black eye beans (including juices) and thyme and simmer.

Thoroughly wash your rice, then add this to the pan and stir briefly. Place the whole Scotch Bonnet peppers on the top and cover tightly.

Cook for approximately 30 minutes, until all of the water has evaporated. Try not to uncover the rice to check on it until it has been cooking for at least 20 minutes.

Serve the chicken on a plate with the rice and beans. I would highly suggest serving with hot pepper sauce too as it adds to the enjoyment of the rice.

Now, all you need is a nice bottle of white wine to go with it and voila! You've got a delicious and special spicy and romantic meal for Valentine's Day - enjoy!