Jerk seasoning has three main ingredients: allspice, thyme and extremely hot scotch bonnet chillies. Add rice and beans, and festival bread, if desired, to create a Jamaican feast. You will need to soak the beans and marinate the chicken overnight.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (193 votes)


  • 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped  
  • 6 spring onions, chopped, plus extra, to serve 
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves  
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ tbsp ground allspice  
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) lime juice
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) cane (see note) or rice vinegar
  • 2 scotch bonnet or 3 habanero chillies (see note), seeded, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.8 kg whole chicken, cleaned, jointed
  • salt, to taste
  • lime wedges, to serve

Rice and beans

  • 200 g (1 cup) dried kidney beans, soaked in water overnight, rinsed, drained
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 sprigs thyme  
  • 4 garlic cloves, bruised  
  • 300 g (1½ cups) white long-grain rice, rinsed, drained
  • 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero chilli
  • 3 spring onions 
  • 2 tsp salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time overnight
Soaking time overnight

To make jerk marinade, process sea salt flakes, black pepper, onions, thyme, oil, spices, ginger, sugar, lime juice, vinegar, chillies and garlic to a paste. Using latex gloves, rub the marinade over the chicken. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make rice and beans, place beans in a large saucepan. Cover with 1.5 litres water, add black pepper, thyme and garlic, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 55 minutes or until beans are just tender.

Add rice, coconut milk, chilli, spring onions and 2 tsp salt, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has absorbed. Remove and discard thyme, garlic, chilli and spring onions.

Preheat a barbecue (ideally, a woodfired one for smoky flavour) to high, then adjust to medium and grease the grill. Remove chicken from marinade, season with salt, then cook, turning, for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Place chicken on a platter with lime wedges, scatter over extra spring onions and serve with rice and beans, and festival bread, if desired.

Serve with festival bread.


• Cane vinegar is made from sugar cane juice and is available from Asian food shops. It may be labelled sukang maasim.
• Scotch bonnet and habanero chillies are very hot; wear latex gloves when handling. Both are available from selected greengrocers.



Photography by Alan Benson.


As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2.