Jerk chicken

Probably my favourite thing to eat in the world. My mate Casey loves it so much he gets genuinely pissed off when he knows I’ve cooked it without him there.
It’s still not as good as real jerk chicken from a proper jerk shop, my favourite haunt being Jerk City in Thornton Heath, but it’s still bloody good.
It’s really quick as it’s a Jamie’s 30 minute meal (none of which take 30 minutes!) and once you’ve made it, you’ll be craving it for days after. Proof of this is the fact I cooked it for my mum and missus, even though my sister had cooked it for my mum 5 days before. No bother!

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This will feed 4 hungry people.

Ingredients:
4 x 180g chicken breasts, skin on
1 tbsp runny honey
A few sprigs of rosemary
A few sprigs of thyme

4 spring onions
2 cinnamon sticks
600ml chicken stock
250g basmati rice
1 tin of black beans

4 spring onions
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Small bunch of thyme
4 cloves garlic
1 scotch bonnet
6 tbsp dark rum
6 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp runny honey

1 red pepper
1 cos lettuce
2 limes
1 bunch coriander
1 small red onion
1 punnet of cress

Preheat the oven to 200°C and get the kettle on.
To cut down on cooking time, you need to split your chicken breasts down the middle, however leaving them attached at the thickest part. Basically making a chicken breast V. Leave about an inch at the top before making your incision and cutting down. Season this liberally and drizzle with oil.
Chuck it on a pre-heated griddle pan or heavy based frying pan skin side down and leave to let the skin get really crisp.
Meanwhile make the jerk sauce by throwing all the ingredients into a bowl and hand blending or liquidising to a smooth sauce. Add a few twists of salt to this but go easy, there’s quite a bit of seasoning throughout. Pour this sauce into an oven or casserole dish.
Once the chicken is really crisp on one side, place on top of the sauce and nestle it down. The sauce should come most of the way up the chicken, but leaving the crispy skin just above. You don’t need to turn the chicken and cook it on the other side, as it is going to poach in the sauce and be beautifully moist!
Place a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary on top and drizzle with honey, then bang it in the oven! It will need 15- 20 minutes.
For the rice and peas finely slice your spring onions and fry in a sauce pan with the cinnamon sticks, some seasoning and a splash of oil. Be brave with the seasoning, it’s key at this stage to get the max flavour! Once the spring onions are soft, throw in the rice and toss in the oil so it’s all coated. Add the beans and stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to medium and whack a lid on. Set a timer for 12 minutes. Also be brave with the heat you leave this on. Crispy bits on the bottom of the pan are the best bit!
You’re nearly home and dry, only the salad to make! Lump up the pepper and lettuce, cut the cress in with scissors and dress with seasoning, lime juice, chopped coriander and olive oil. I personally like to finey grate my red onion, you get a nice hum from it without over powering onion-y-ness!

Serve it all up on the table and let everyone dive in! I know the list of ingredients is long and it looks like a bit of a pain in the arse, but if you weigh everything out before you start and get as much of the prep done as poss, you can smash this one out.

Trust me. You won’t regret it.

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