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Spicy Jerk Chicken

Ainsley's Spicy Jerk Chicken

Ainsley Harriott's spicy jerk chicken breast with fried plantain and Jamaican rice and peas - made using 10p of energy.

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Energy cost: 9.19p, Serves 4, Prep: 8 mins plus 3 hours marinade time, Cook: 30 mins

Jerk chicken

What you’ll need:

For the jerk marinade:

225g onions, peeled and quartered
1 or 2 habaneros or scotch bonnet chillies, halved and seeded
50g fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
½ tsp ground allspice
15g fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
120ml white wine vinegar
120ml dark soy sauce

4 chicken breasts (skin on)


1. Place the onions, chillies, ginger, allspice, thyme, pepper, vinegar and soy into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
2. Slash each chicken breast so that the marinade can really penetrate, then place in a shallow non-metallic dish.
3. Pour over the marinade and then cover and leave for 2-3 hours or up to overnight, turning the chicken every now and then. The longer you leave it to marinate, the more intense the flavour.
4. Cook the chicken breasts on a griddle pan, barbie or grill oven for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through and nicely charred. 
6. Remove from the pan and rest for a few minutes before serving.

Fried Plantain

What you’ll need:

2-3 plantains
50g butter
2 tbsp oil


1. Cut off both ends of the peeled plantains and discard.
2. Cut each plantain into 8-10 slices on the diagonal. 
3. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying and fry the plantain slices over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side until nicely browned. 
4. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper, season and serve.

Jamaican rice and peas

What you’ll need:

200g dried kidney beans (covered and soaked in water overnight)
Or 400g tin red kidney beans (in Jamaica the terms peas and beans are used interchangeably)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red finger chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
125g creamed coconut, coarsely grated
450g long grain rice
About 600ml hot water (the general rule for this recipe is that you have roughly 2 ½ times as much liquid as rice and beans)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Drain and rinse the beans.
2. Place in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water by about 5cm.
3. Bring to the boil and cook on a high heat for 10 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about an hour or until the beans are almost tender (they will finish cooking with the rice).
5. Drain the beans, reserving the red liquid and adding extra water to make it up to 600ml.
6. Heat a large saucepan, add the oil and gently fry the onions, garlic, chilli and thyme for 2 minutes.
7. Stir in the grated coconut, rice, kidney beans, liquid and salt and pepper to taste. 
8. Cover and cook over a very low heat or in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes, or until the rice and beans are tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed.


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