Jamaican rice and beans with jerk chicken

A Caribbean dish ideal for family meals or parties – and not too expensive. Made from dried red kidney beans and rice flavoured with chilli, garlic and coconut. Served with spicy chicken.
Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 2 hrs
Total time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Skill level: Bit of effort




    • 90g (3oz) dried red kidney beans


    • 1 onion, peeled and chopped


    • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped


    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme


    • 1 chilli pepper, deseeded and finely chopped


    • 1 tsp poultry seasoning


    • 300g (10oz) basmati rice


    • 60g (2oz) creamed coconut


    • 1 tsp salt


For the jerk chicken:

    • 4 skinless chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks


    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    • 1 onion, peeled and grated


    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated


    • 2 tsp jerk seasoning


    • 3 tbsp jerk barbecue sauce (we used Reggae Reggae)


    • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil






    1. Put the dried kidney beans into a large bowl and pour over 1.75 litres (3 pints) water. Cover and leave overnight.


    1. Meanwhile, make the jerk chicken: Put the chicken pieces into a non-metallic dish. Pierce the meat several times with a sharp knife. Season, then rub with the grated onion and garlic and jerk seasoning. Pour over the barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Cover and marinate overnight.


    1. Pour the beans and soaking liquid into a very large pan with a lid. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, chilli pepper and poultry seasoning. Bring to the boil and boil vigorously for 10 mins (to destroy the toxins). Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour until beans are almost tender.


    1. In the meantime, heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan. Brown the chicken all over, for about 15 mins, then add 100ml (3½fl oz) water, cover and simmer for 25 mins until the chicken is really tender.


    1. Rest a sieve over a large measuring jug, and strain the beans, reserving the liquid. Tip the beans back into the pan. Pour in ¾ litre (1¼ pints) of the reserved bean cooking liquid. (Top up with water if necessary.)


    1. Add the rice to the pan with the creamed coconut and salt. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 15 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed. Turn off heat and leave it to rest for 10 minutes without lifting the lid. Serve the rice and beans with the jerk chicken.



Nutritional information per portion



fat 24.0g saturates 11.0g calories 696(kcal)


This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.