Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Fried Plantains and Rice ‘n Peas

Make sure to source a jar of the almighty Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (Hot & Spicy) for this recipe. There is no substitute. This is the best jerk marinade-seasoning out there. Depending on your tolerance for heat, you may need to work up to the hot & spicy. There is a medium heat version if you’re not particularly tolerant.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 4 – 6 tbsp Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning (Hot & Spicy)
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large, very ripe (nearly black) plantains
  • scant 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • 1.5 rice-cooker cups of Basmati rice (Jasmine will also work)
  • 1 cup frozen pigeon peas
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
  • salt to taste (for the rice)

Note: we use a rice cooker.

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The plantains should be more ripe than this – nearly all black

Directions

  1. The night before, marinate the chicken thighs in the Walkerswood seasoning. Smear the jerk paste onto the thighs by hand (or with food safe gloves if you wear contact lenses!). Make sure they are nice and covered, getting the seasoning into all of the nooks and folds of the thighs. Leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. About an hour before you want to eat, measure out the rice, rinse under running water through a strainer, and add to the rice cooker. Add the coconut milk and then enough water to reach the required liquid level inside the rice cooker, and give a few good stirs. Sprinkle a couple generous pinches of salt and top with 1 tbsp of unmelted butter for extra rich rice. Set to cook according to the rice cooker instructions.
  3. While the rice is cooking, thaw the pigeon peas in a small pot over the stove; add the peas and enough water to cover the bottom of the pot, and heat, covered, no more than 10 minutes. Strain of excess liquid and set aside.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, stir the pigeon peas into the rice cooker bowl and cover again to keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425F. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in a roasting dish. Place in the oven and bake, approx. 20 – 25 minutes, until an instant read thermometer registers 160F.
  6. Very soon after you put the chicken in the oven, cook the plantains. Heat the coconut oil in a wide cast iron or enamel skillet over medium-high heat (with enough oil to reach about 1/4″ depth). While the oil is getting hot, peel and cut the plantains into thirds, then halve those thirds lengthwise.
  7. Once the oil reaches ~300F or 350F, add the plantains. Fry about 4 minutes per side until nicely browned, watching them so they don’t burn but keeping the oil nice and hot. Try to only turn them once. Plantains do tend to want to stick to the pan. Once they are nicely browned on each side, remove from the pan and let drain on paper towels before serving.
  8. Serve the rice, plantains, and chicken with some of your favorite hot sauce and a cold beer. Drizzle roasting pan drippings (chicken juice gold) over the rice.

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