Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

Tonight, I’m sharing a meal with you that we had while in Jamaica. I had more fish while we were there, but we had some chicken in the house so we used that. For lunch one time, they had blackened fish which was really spicy and well… black. Still very, very good though…. Ben said the chicken kind of reminded him of blackened fish, and he said he wished that the chicken hadn’t turned black. Not sure whether or not to call this Blackened Chicken or just Jerk Chicken. While there, we bought a bottle of Jerk Seasoning blend by a company called Island Spice. I’m going to give you recipe to make your own Jerk Seasoning, or you can just go out to the grocery store and see if they have a bottle of Jerk Seasoning. I really haven’t looked for one yet. Let me know if you can find them.

It was also nice out tonight so we grilled. One night while we were there, they had a barbeque on the beach and I’d like to find a recipe for Jamaican barbeque sauce as well. To go a long side the chicken, I made rice and peas. We also ate that a lot while we were there. The locals called the rice dish, rice and peas, and Ben and I thought that was odd because we’re used to the peas being called beans. Who cares though, it was all good anyway!! The chef at the restaurant where we had the cooking class at said Jamaican food uses a lot of onions, green onions, garlic, and fresh peppers like Scotch bonnets. He also said that they use coconut milk in pretty much everything too.

Jerk Seasoning Blend from Food.com

Servings: 6
Calories 19.9 | Fat 0.2 g | Carbohydrate 4.6 g | Fiber 0.8 g | Protein 0.5 g
Points Plus: 1

1 tablespoon onion flakes
2 teaspoons ground thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried chives

Directions:

1.Mix together all the ingredients.
2.Store leftovers in a tightly closed glass jar.
3.It will keep its strength for over a month.
4. 1- 1 1/2 tablespoon of seasoning for each pound of meat.

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Rice and Peas Recipe
Calories 219 | Fat 5.04g | Carbohydrate 37.55g | Fiber 4.7g | Protein 6.43g
Servings: 10 (1/2 cup)

Ingredients from Jamaican Food.net

2 cups of rice
1 can of tinned or 1 cup of fresh red peas (either kidney beans or pigeon peas)
5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 uncut scotch bonnet pepper (1 jalapeno pepper may be used as a substitute)
3 Scallion (spring onions may be used as a substitute)
1 tin (or one cup) of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (2 teaspoons of dried thyme may be used as a substitute)

Directions:

1.Drain juice from beans, add coconut milk + sufficient water to make 5 cups of cooking liquid.

2.Put beans, “cooking liquid” and garlic in a pot and bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Add scallions, thyme, and black pepper and salt to taste, simmer for a further 2 minutes.

4. Add scotch bonnet pepper (as this is not cut up it will not make the rice spicy, it will just add a subtle Jamaican flavour).

5. Add rice and let boil uncovered for 20 minutes (or until all liquid has been absorbed if this is sooner). Remove scotch bonnet pepper then serve.

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