When you cant go to the restaurant, bring the restaurant to you!

What do you buy for the person who has everything they want?

First dilemma…

So it was my dads birthday recently, and I thought to myself, ‘what do you buy for someone who has everything they want?” He’s one of those people that if theres anything particular he wants in life, then he probably has it, and if not he’s perfectly happy as he is. Which is great… but what do you get them as a gift?! There is one thing however, that like myself, is very close to my dads heart… and thats FOOD!

As restaurants still weren’t open properly after lockdown, I decided that if I couldn’t take my dad to a restaurant for dinner, than I would bring the restaurant to him. So creative little Emily decided that she was going to make a fancy three course meal to celebrate dads birthday. Cue menus, dinner settings and aperitifs.

Second dilemma…. what to make?!

So then, the next issue was what on earth do I make? My dads a great cook himself, and we often find ourselves competing in the kitchen for the best feedback or varying our recipes for different meals. So I wanted to make him something NEW and EXCITING for his birthday meal.

After scrambling across the net for some new inspiration, I came up with…drum roll…

Jerk chicken rice and peas.

This is a dish that dad had never tried before, and something Ive made a couple times but never at home. So I decided it was the perfect dish. When I have made it previously I used pieces of chicken, like the thighs, however difference this time was that I used a whole chicken, which actually turned out better as it was so much more succulent! I scanned a couple of different recipes for the jerk seasoning and combined together what I thought would make that perfect, flavour packed, sticky sensation. The meal turned out FANTASTIC and was an absolute winner with my dad.. thanks goodness!

This dish really is something different than your usual weeknight dinners. Next time you think how on earth should cook my chicken this time… then try this!

Heres my Caribbean classic Jerk chicken rice n peas.

Ingredients…

For the chicken seasoning… I marinated the chicken over night, to really soak in all the flavour, however if you don’t have time a few hours in the fridge will do.

  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder ( or 2 chopped fresh chillies)
  • Thumb of Ginger (pealed and finely chopped)
  • 4 large cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 tsp Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/5 tsp Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 2 small red onions
  • 2 squeezed limes

You will need roughly 1 heaped teaspoon of all the spices( don’t feel afraid to put plenty of seasoning in as it really enhances the flavour of the chicken). Add all of these ingredients into a blender/ nutribullet and blend to a pulp. Add this all over your chicken, and leave in the fridge to marinate.

Marinating chicken

Rice N peas…

  • 1 tin of kidney beans/ black beans
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 spring onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped
Rice n peas

Method..

  1. Your chicken, once marinated will take approx 1.5 hours to cook in the oven, depending on the size of your bird! I had the oven preheated to 200, cooked for 10 minutes to crisp up the outside a little and then turned down to 180 for the rest of the cooking process.
  2. Meanwhile whilst your bird is in the oven, you need to prepare your rice n peas. Chop up your onion and pepper into fine cubes, followed by your spring onion and garlic finely. Add these to a large pan and soften them for a few minutes.
  3. Add to the mix your allspice, S&P, coconut milk, water, beans and rice. Stir the mix and ensure that there is enough liquid, approx 1.5 inches above the rice.
  4. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. After this reduce the heat and cook for approx 50mins to an hour. Make sure you stir the mix regularly so it doesn’t stick at the bottom. Depending on the type of brown rice it make alter slightly, but the rice will absorb the liquid and expand to be fully cooked.
  5. Get your chicken out the oven and check that its temperature at the core is above 165degrees. Make sure you do multiple checks in different areas of the chicken. And Serve!
Succulent roast jerk chicken

This dish is PACKED with so much flavour, it really takes the ‘boring’ out of chicken! The sweet, sour and sticky skin packs such a punch through to the juicy meat underneath. I used brown rice for this recipe, as its healthier, and better for my stomach. The nutty taste with the coconut milk goes so well together, and it combines perfectly with the chicken.

Have a go at this Caribbean classic and let me know how much you love it! For more inspiring recipes follow my blog.

Emily

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