Scotch Bonnet

Peas and Rice

Peas and rice is the traditional side served with Jerk Chicken. In Jamaica, peas refer to beans.

If you cannot get the Caribbean mixed beans, kidney beans will work equally well.

The garden peas are not traditional, but give the rice a nice crunch.

A hearty and warming dish, with a subtle spiced fragrance and flavour.

If you wish to make this vegetarian, then substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Originally served with
Authentic Jerk Chicken.

Beans and Rice

Full Recipe ...

Authentic Jerk Chicken with Peas and Rice

I have been lucky enough to have travelled to Jamaica several times.

The first trip was especially poignant, walking down the main strip in Negril at night. I was blown away by the smell of the various Jerk Chicken Vendors that lined the street. At night, the oil drum barbecues are lit and family secret marinades are liberally applied to chicken, pork, sweetcorn - you name it. Many evenings, we would avoid the beach restaurants and have snapper or chicken served on rice in newspaper. Truly delicious.

After many years of experimenting with Jerk marinades, this is the closest I can get to the real deal. Scotch Bonnet chillies really cannot be substituted, as they provide a fruitiness through the marinade that cannot be matched by other chilli varieties.

I like to pick a whole chicken for this dish and butcher it myself. This way I can make a chicken stock with the carcass, which is ideal for rice and peas.

There really is no substitute for the BBQ, however, you can get pretty close with patience from your oven.

Serve with Rice and Peas, Coleslaw, Jerked Sweetcorn.
(The rice is a hearty dish in its own right, so you don’t need to go crazy on sides!).

Jerk Chicken : Jerk Chicken Rice and Peas

Full Recipe ...

Peri Peri Chicken with a Fresh Salad

I have visited Portugal a number of times, mainly on unsuccessful skydiving trips. Who would have thought that having Europe’s largest on-shore wind farm nearby would indicate winds would stop play on a daily basis?! As a result, we have stumbled through the back roads of smalls towns such as Alvor, eating at local restaurants that catch the eye. Many times, if we were not eating the catch of the day, then we would opt for the National Dish - Peri Peri chicken.

The marinade is a fiery red colour, and is almost as hot to taste. Unfortunately, I could not get hold of the correct chillies to make this authentically, so was forced to substitute some scotch bonnets and red thai chillies to give a hot fruity taste. The peri peri chilli pepper is a little hotter than a red thai chilli and has a more punchy flavour.

The basis of most peri peri recipes is red pepper, chilli, oil, paprika and citrus. A number of people that I asked about the recipe came up with an assortment of family-secret additional flavours. The one that most stood out to me was a glass of whisky.

I have searched on the internet, and there seems to be numerous schools of thought on the use of whisky. Some flame the whisky when making the marinade, and others blitz all the ingredients together.

For this attempt, I chose to keep the marinade raw.

This recipe is ideal for a BBQ - the smoky flavour would really help to lift the dish and make it authentic. However, cooking on a Monday evening - the oven is far more convenient. I cooked the chicken on low for 45 minutes and then gave it a blast under the grill to caramelise the top.

The chicken was delicious and moist, the marinade hot and spicy and the meal a great success - bringing back fond memories of warm evenings in the Med.

Peri Peri Chicken Salad and Chips

Full Recipe ...