Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Jamaican Red Beans and Rice

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Jamaican Red Beans and Rice was inspired by our tropical island vacation.

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Ben and I are still riding our post-vacation high!

We’ve been reminiscing about ridiculously attractive brother and sister, afraid of the water guy, and hot Italians in small bikinis from our hotel, Ben’s been complimenting me on how “rasta” my cooking smells, and I’ve been very laid back in my requests such as, hey mon, can you come pick up your clothes from the living room floor, mon? Much love! instead of, listen, you really need to get your crap out here or I’m going to go completely bananas.

Kidding! Kind of… ;)

Before we come back down to earth though, and start eating things like cheese and skittles again (Jamaican food is very healthy!) I wanted to try and recreate one of the meals we had nearly every afternoon at our resort, Jerk Chicken with Red Beans & Rice.

Ben and I were both amped to try authentic jerk chicken upon our arrival in Jamaica, and practically whooped out loud after learning there was a jerk chicken shack located RIGHT on the beach of our hotel, and that it was open for lunch everyday.

We quickly fell in love – nay, become obsessed – with the Caribbean-spiced chicken which was slow roasted until the meat was juicy and succulent, then grilled until the skin crisped and sizzled.

Every afternoon we’d take a break from sun and surf, line up at the shack, and eagerly watch the cook whack a couple cooked chicken in half with his cleaver, then generously pile the pieces onto our plates. We’d fill the other side with fluffy, creamy red beans and rice, and then drizzle the whole thing with homemade sauce.

Hot for him, BBQ for her. Devoured, and plates licked clean under a shady tree with a cold red stripe.

It doesn’t get better than this! we’d exclaim every afternoon. (Ben asks that you please excuse his creeper smile. He thought he had more sauce on his face at the time, which would warrant the expression.)

Anyways! After some research I found a ton of jerk chicken recipes to try at home, and was tickled pinker than my sunburn after finding one in the comments section of a blog that didn’t involve several complicated marinating steps, which several others had called for. The guy, Rich, had been making the recipe every week for years. Dang! How bad could it be?!

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Not bad AT ALL!

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It’s hard to compete with authentic jerk chicken made in Jamaica, on the beach, by a Jamaican – but for an American attempt at home, I think it was pretty good!

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Start by mixing up a marinade for the jerk chicken in large bowl or dish.

The marinade is made up of a dry component including dried thyme, allspice, sugar, ground sage, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

And a wet component including white vinegar, olive oil, orange juice, soy sauce and lime juice.

Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to create a super slurry of flavah.

Stir in chopped white onion, green onion, and crushed garlic cloves, then stir to combine.

Next add chicken breasts to the bowl, and cover them completely in the marinade. The chef in Jamaica used whole chickens, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts work better when you want to get dinner on the table in under an hour. ;)

After marinating for a few hours, I’d ordinarily grill these suckers up until they were crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, but since we’re still WOG (without grill) over here, I used the upside down grill, and broiled ‘em instead. :)

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Place an oven rack one rung down from the top, spread the chicken out on a broiling rack or foil-covered baking sheet, and broil for 5-6 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through, brushing with leftover marinade every few minutes.

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Drizzle with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce, then pair with a big scoop of Jamaican-style red-beans and rice on the side.

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

Adapted from commenter Rich on Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon allspice
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped white onion
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients (the seasonings) into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce, and lime juice.
  2. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. Mix in green onions, white onions and garlic cloves, then add the chicken breasts into the bowl, turning over to cover completely in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to overnight.
  3. Grill or broil chicken for 4-5 minutes a side, brushing the marinade over while grilling. When no longer pink in the middle, remove to a plate, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce.

 

Again, don’t be scared by the lengthy ingredient list! The thing we loved so much about Jamaican food is not only how fresh and healthy everything was, but how much flavor was packed into every bite with the use of spices instead of fats. Common spices, too. I had ‘em all in my cupboards!

*Please excuse my Corona. Wrong country, I know, but still damn tasty. ;)

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The Jamaican Red Beans & Rice recipe I made to go alongside was the STAR of the meal though. Green onion, garlic, and coconut milk infused rice was creamy, and soooo satisfying.

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I made Ben a pot of plain white rice, you know, because of the whole coconut thing, but he tried one bite of mine and began to wail. You were right and now I have plain rice and you have delicious coconut rice and all is lost! You know all things! Or, something like that. ;)

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Jamaican Red Beans and Rice

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

Slightly adapted from Skinny Taste

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or canola oil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup lite coconut milk
1 cup long grain white rice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add garlic, green onion, and thyme, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  2. Add beans, water, and coconut milk to the pan, then stir and bring to a boil. Add in rice and salt, then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid as been absorbed, and rice is tender.

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Ok, the final recap post including information on where we stayed is coming up tomorrow! Until then, I’m off to relive sea kayaking with Ben. That…was a doozy. ;)

Have a great night, everyone!

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Comments

  1. Karen W. 04.17.2012

    OMG, this looks soooo good!! I can’t wait to make this, it has me salivating as I type this. Shoot, I might scrap what I had in mind for dinner tonight and do this instead!

  2. emily 04.17.2012

    That looks delicious! I grew up in the Caribbean so jerk chicken was always a staple in my diet but I’ve actually never made it on my own. *ducks head in shame* The beans and rice look tasty too. Small nit-picky point though – most Rastafarians follow a vegetarian diet so jerk chicken doesn’t smell very “rasta.” :)

  3. Lauren 04.17.2012

    I love that you live out your post vacation through your meals. Italy was awesome inspiration for your meals for that whole month! I’m loving Jamaica too!

  4. I’ve never tried jerk chicken, I don’t think, but you’re right, the ingredient list is not daunting!

    And you totally need to do a photography post… ;)

  5. lisa 04.17.2012

    I bought some Caribbean Jerk seasoning in St. Marteen, do you think I could use just that instead of the mixture of spices? I don’t actually know what is in jerk seasoning.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 04.17.2012

      I’m sure! Maybe mix it with a bit of canola oil to make a paste, rub it on, then grill it!

  6. Your Jamaica posts make me so nostalgic for our honeymoon! We LOVED the chicken shack for lunch (we were in Ocho Rios) and dug the patties too…did you try those?!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 04.22.2012

      YES! I tried one from the buffet one day (having no idea what it was) and devoured it!

  7. Kelly V. 04.17.2012

    Yum! Jerk chicken was the best part of our mission trip – it is one man’s sole job to feed the missionaries jerk chicken throughout the week. He raises them, kills them that morning (I try not to think about it), then cooks them in a pit with all of the spices – seriously, the best chicken I have ever had! Glad you got to enjoy some … I’m going to try this recipe next week :)

  8. Looks awesome!! YUMMY!

  9. I love jerk chicken! This looks amazing – I’m so loving the pictures of your vacation. It’s making me wish I could go!

  10. Maria W 04.17.2012

    I’ve copied the recipe and I’m going to make this. I’m hoping my husband loves it. It sure looks great to me!
    Thanks for sharing your vacation memories and recipes with us!

  11. I am too busy wiping drool from my chin to leave a real comment. Omg.

    (I’m making this SOON.)

  12. Toni Anne 04.17.2012

    Kristen,

    I’ve been following your blog for the past 2-3 weeks and I LOVE IT! I’m so inspired to make this recipe in particular because I spent a week in Kingston, Jamaica doing a mission trip and the food was so delicious! Did you ever have akee fruit?

    Anyway, I’m a fan. I run a lot and eat a lot and travel a lot with the Air Force. New goals: 2nd marathon in November, experimenting to become a better cook (i’m a newbie) and seeing new places (1st on the list this summer is Maine!)

    Thanks for your encouragement and positive attitude, I’ll be following

    Toni Anne

  13. This looks incredibly delicious and just what I have been craving. I’m adding it to the menu plan for next week! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Becky 04.17.2012

    Speaking of red beans and rice! I totally made your crockpot recipe this weekend! I made one small change and left out one cup of water and added in a can of tomato sauce. Quite tasty!

  15. Trisha 04.17.2012

    I’m glad my husband and I aren’t the only ones who “name” our fellow vacation goers. On our trip to Mexico in January, I couldn’t get enough of “beautiful family”. A gorgeous,young family that I assumed was from Spain & each one of them was more beautiful than the next, though I was more partial to “blue-eyed boy”. :)

  16. Jamaica me hungry…can’t wait to try this recipe soon.

  17. How delicious!
    Great photos and I spot some fierce tan lines! :D

  18. Wow! I am making this ASAP! Thank you!

  19. Kelley 04.18.2012

    I can’t wait to log on every morning so I can read about your wonderful trip! We are leaving in 12 days and I am so excited after seeing all your wonderful pictures and reading about the adventures you had. We are staying in Ochos Rios…can’t wait to see Dunn’s River Falls, eat the wonderful food, and see the original Margaritaville!!
    Thanks again for sharing with all of us!!

  20. This looks SO good! We went to Jamaica on our honeymoon–this makes me miss it so much!

  21. Annie 04.18.2012

    Thinking the best flavor would be to use chicken bone in as they do in Jamaica and as Rachel ray always suggests..lol

  22. Kara 04.18.2012

    This whole meal looks DELISH! Might have to make that this weekend :)

  23. definitely making that red beans + rice!

  24. I was obsessed with the jerk chicken when we were in Jamaica… yummmmm.

  25. Wow Wow Wow! This looks SO freaking good, I can’t stand it!!!! Bummer I just went grocery shopping today, this will have to wait until next week now.

  26. Emily 04.18.2012

    This looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

  27. Sue T 04.18.2012

    I have the recipe from Secrets Resort in Montego Bay where we stayed last winter. If interested – i will send it to you. Very good – but part of the secret is marinating longer – up to 24 hours. This really get the flavor into the chicken.

    Also in my recipe part of the marinade is put aside and additional ingredients are added to make a special jerk sauce to put on chichen when serving

    Additinal ingredients that I recall include brown surgar, jalopeno peppers blended into the marinade and ginger.

    We too have wonderful memories on lazy days, drinking and jerk checken.

  28. I love the amount of crazy spices in there! must be Deeeee-li-ci-usssss!!!

  29. Jess Jann 04.19.2012

    I LOVEEEEE YOUR BLOG! i’ve been a long time reader and recently started my own blog! i’m really inspired by your beautiful stories and amazing recipes! keep up the great work! i’ll definitely be along for the ride! if you have any advice on blog writing! i would more than appreciate it!! thanks soooo much! :)

    have a fabulous trip!

    <3 Always, Jess

  30. Shannan 04.19.2012

    I made the marinade yesterday and let the chicken sit in it overnight. I made it all in a gallon ziploc bag and then threw in the chicken. The bag is in the fridge, lying in a container, just in case it leaks. That way, all I had to do was flip the bag over this morning, although everything is totally covered, anyway, even using 6 breasts. We’re having it for tonight’s dinner (and leftovers!). I think I’ll grill the chicken. Making the rice tonight, too. I can’t wait to try it! This is our first experience with Jerk Chicken. Thanks for posting this! :)

  31. Chelsea C 04.19.2012

    I went to the Riu in Montego Bay in February and I had this chicken and rice too!! Sooooo amazing isn’t it?? Your post is making me wish I were back there right now…

  32. Sara 04.23.2012

    Just made this for dinner – and WOW! Looooooved the rice. First time using coconut milk, I was a little nervous, but it was great. I added the whole can of beans, and it was fabulous. I would make this again just for the rice. Thanks so much!

  33. leah 04.24.2012

    Done and DONE. This looks amazing. I’ve always been nervous about jerk chicken being too spicy, but this doesn’t seem bad at all! Definitely making this this week.

  34. Annie 04.27.2012

    OMG just made this recipe! Loved it! And you are right this literally is the BEST rice ever! My husband & I were practically licking our plates clean! Yum!

  35. [...] May is going to be good, too. I’m looking forward to maybe being a smidge less busy. I’m going to simplify and focus in on the handful of things that really, really matter. I’m going to train like a madwoman. I’m going to Vegas. I’m going to make coconut rice at least three times: 1, 2, 3. [...]

  36. Jami 05.03.2012

    I made your jerk chicken with red beans and rice for dinner the other night and it was amazing! Thank you for sharing your trip and this awesome recipe!

  37. [...] Source for both recipes: Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  38. Sarah C 05.30.2012

    DELICOUS. I added habanero peppers to the marinade and blended all the marinade ingredients. IT came out AMAZING. My boyfriend went crazy for your rice! I ate it all before being able to take a picture, but I wrote about it here:
    http://sarahcsarahdo.blogspot.com/2012/05/good-evening-i-just-wanted-to-do-quick.html

  39. Jodi 06.17.2012

    I am a jerk junkie like you two – I recommend using real wood/leaves/chips and only 1 place imports them from Jamaica – http://www.pimentowood.com Amazing results!

  40. [...] Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Rice (Iowa Girl Eats) [...]

  41. Sacha 07.29.2012

    We stayed in Negril on our honeymoon in March – one day our resort had fresh Chilean Sea Bass that they used the jerk spice mixture on and grilled. Try it – absolutely amazing! My husband, who only eats fish in the Long John Silver’s variety, said it was the best thing he has ever had in his life.

  42. Geri 09.13.2012

    I’m going to have to set an alarm since I found your site tonight I can’t seem to pull away from the screen. So many wonderful reads so many delicious recipes and photos. The jerk chicken and red beans sounds like a winner can’t wait to give it a try. Have a great weekend!

  43. [...] from this recipe from Iowa Girl [...]

  44. [...] Iowa Girl Eats – Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Jamaican Red Beans and Rice [...]

  45. [...] Jamaican Jerk Chicken, wonder if this could work on [...]

  46. [...] courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats. http://iowagirleats.com/2012/04/17/jamaican-jerk-chicken-the-best-rice-ever/ This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Dana. Bookmark the [...]

  47. [...] Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Jamaican Red Beans and Rice [...]

  48. Elizabeth 02.19.2013

    Do you think I could try this in the slow cooker?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.20.2013

      Hmmm, I’m not sure, I’ve never tried! Let me know if you give it a go!

      • Elizabeth 02.20.2013

        I went for it and it was delicious. Of course you miss that wonderful grill taste from the original recipe, which is one of my fav’s of yours, but the jerk flavor was there. I added a little water, to make the marinade go up 3/4 of the way of the chicken breasts and ground chipotle pepper for a little something extra. It made for a very nice Carribean style dinner on a very cold Chicagoland night! Thanks!

  49. Dan 02.22.2013

    I’ve been trying to find this recipe for around 8 months, since I went to Jamaica, and spent 2 weeks eating the same chicken with the extra hot jerk sauce! I’m trying your recipe tonight, I kind of feel I need to go out and purchase a cleaver as impressive as Rich’s to make it feel more authentic… Awesome blog by the way! – I’ll report back with how close this is to the real thing! haha

  50. Lauren 03.05.2013

    I am making this tonight with a Jamaican jerk sauce I bought while in Jamaica. I can’t wait to try it and the rice!

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