I had my first Caribbean dish - Jerk Chicken - in the UK. Although I wasn’t in the sunny Caribbean, I was nonetheless mind blown by its cuisine. It has flavors that pack a punch and tastes so refreshingly different despite using familiar spices. That got me started on my spice exploration journey and I haven’t looked back since.
I've updated my original recipe for a sous-vide version. It's especially awesome for barbecues where you can finish the chicken on the grill. With this, you can easily be the one that blows everyone out of the water at your next BBQ party!
Recipe: Sous-Vide Jerk Chicken with Rice & Beans Salad
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 day
8 chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves, minced
12g (1 tbsp) chili flakes
6g (1/2 tbsp) chili powder
12g (1 tbsp) brown sugar
12g (1 tbsp) salt
4g (1 tsp) each: ground allspice, cumin
2g (1/2 tsp) each: ground cinnamon, nutmeg and dried thyme
30ml (2 tbsp) peanut oil
7.5ml (1/2 tbsp) lime juice
450g (16 oz) long grain rice
360ml (1.5 cups) water
400ml (1.7 cups) coconut milk
4g (1 tsp) paprika
3 x 120g (4 oz) canned beans, drained (borlotti, flageolet and black beans)
5g (1 tsp) salt
50g (1.8 oz) canned sweet corn, drained
30ml (2 tbsp) peanut oil
1 day before
Combine garlic, chili flakes, chili powder, sugar, salt, allspice, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, peanut oil and lime juice in a large bowl. Stir to make a smooth paste.
Add chicken thighs to the bowl and rub the paste onto the meat evenly. Cover and leave to marinate for 6 hours, or overnight.
1 hour 45 minutes before
Set Codlo to preheat water bath to 65°C (149°F) with 1 hour 30 minutes cooking time. Once the target temperature is reached, seal chicken thighs in a bag and submerge them in the water bath.
30 minutes before
Bring rice and water to a near boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium. Stir in coconut milk and paprika. Simmer for 7 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Reduce heat to low and heat for 10 minutes with the lid on. Your rice should be dry when done.
Remove from heat, allow the rice to rest for 10 minutes. Mix in salt, sweet corn and the various beans, set aside.
Once chicken is ready, pat them dry with kitchen towels, season them with salt. Heat up oil in a heavy-based skillet. Sear the chicken skin side down on high heat for 1 minute until crisp. Flip over and cook for another 10 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
Serve 1-2 chicken thighs per person on a bed of rice with beans.
Notes & Tips
This may be a long list of spices, but it’s also an opportunity to build up your spice rack and try this flavorful Caribbean twist to chicken!
Feel free to use your preferred mixture of beans here. Butter, pinto, cannellini and broad beans are good substitutes.