Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Beans

Caribbean Jerk Chicken
If you love the bold flavors of Caribbean food, then this recipe is for you! The first time I had jerk chicken I was hooked and wiped my plate clean. Jerk chicken seasoning is based on chili peppers and Jamaican allspice, which is one of the most important spices used in the Caribbean. The preparation is easy with just a few simple steps and some marinating.

This dish is full of robust flavor and warm spices, complimented by a fragrant coconut rice and beans. I recommend black beans for the rice, but pinto beans work as well. Try to marinate the chicken at least for three hours and preferably overnight. As for the spice level, for a mild to medium heat, use jalapeño chilis. If you want it hot and spicy, use habanero chilis or the traditional Scotch bonnet peppers.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken ingredients

Chop garlic and peppers and mince scallions.

Chop garlic, peppers and scallions.

Add spices and chopped vegetables into a bowl, then stir in soy sauce, lime juice, oil and rum.

Add spices and chopped vegetables into a bowl, then stir in soy sauce, lime juice, oil and rum.

Toss in chicken pieces and mix to incorporate.

Toss in chicken pieces and mix to incorporate.

Bake chicken until cooked, 45-55 minutes.

Bake chicken until cooked, 45-55 minutes.

While chicken is cooking, start rice. Saute garlic & onion, then stir in rice.

While chicken is cooking, start rice. Saute garlic & onion, then stir in rice.

Stir in coconut milk, water & nutmeg. Cook for about 20 minutes, then stir in beans.

Stir in coconut milk, water & nutmeg. Cook for about 20 minutes, then stir in beans.

Serve jerk chicken with coconut rice and beans and lime wedges.

Serve jerk chicken with coconut rice and beans and lime wedges.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Beans

  • 2-3 pounds chicken pieces, drumsticks and thighs
  • 4 stalks fresh scallions, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chili peppers, stemmed and chopped (Jalapeño, Habanero or Scotch Bonnet)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oil (olive, peanut or vegetable oil)
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Jamaican allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoonsdried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • a splash of rum, optional

Coconut Rice and Beans

  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon oil or butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained

Finely chop scallions, 8 cloves of garlic and 2 de-seeded peppers, then add to a large bowl. Into the same bowl, stir in brown sugar, spices, dried thyme, soy sauce, oil, juice of one lime, and a splash of Jamaican rum (optional). Add the chicken pieces and toss together until fully coated in the marinade mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, heat oven to 350°F and bake chicken for 45-55 minutes.

While chicken is cooking start on the rice. Add butter or oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chopped shallot and garlic, cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice then pour in the coconut milk and water. Season with nutmeg and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Stir in the black beans and cook for a few minutes until hot.

Total Time: 60 minutes, plus 3+ hours marinating time
Yield: 4 servings
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34 Responses to “Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Beans”

  1. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen February 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Oh this looks so delicious! I can almost reach for the piece of chicken and bite into it. These are awesome flavors and I like the idea of coconut and beans in the rice. Thanks for sharing, Barb!

    • Barb February 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      Thanks so much, Betty Ann! Let me know if you ever try it out.

  2. Catherine Paciotti February 1, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Is Jamaican allspice similar to regular allspice? I’ve never heard of it or seen it before. I don’t want to buy a kit to make this, but I’d really like to try making it, or something very similar to it, but I don’t want to spend a fortune on a spice that I’m only going to use once. Can I substitute anything for this spice?


    • Catherine Paciotti February 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

      Nevermind, I found several sources for it online. it’s expensive, but if I want to try this dish, it’ll be worth a try.

      • Barb February 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

        Hi Catherine – Try combining ground cinnamon and cloves. However, I suggest using Jamaican allspice because of its distinct flavor. And make sure the allspice is from Jamaica. Some of the allspice you find at stores are from Mexico or other countries, which may not be as bold.

        • Catherine Paciotti February 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

          I’ll see what I can find that I can afford. They sell it at a lot of these sources in pretty large amounts. Then they have a small container of Jamaican Allspice berries at Wallmart (which I’d have to grind up, and I’d probably use the whole bottle or most of it)–but that might be one of the ones that’s from Mexico. I might just try the recipe for starters with a mix of cinnamon and cloves and then invest in the Jamaican allspice if I decide I want to make the dish regularly. Thanks Barb!!!

          • Catherine Paciotti February 8, 2013 at 7:37 am #

            Bought a bottle of Jamaican Allspice yesterday at the grocery store! It smells delcious. It’s McCormick Gourmet Collection, and they had Ground or unground. The ground was more expensive, but I got it because there was more of it. Judging by the ingredients in this recipe and the jerk chicken I’ve had in restaurants, I’ll make this recipe several times, so it’ll be worth the $5.99 I spent on the bottle. I plan on making it this coming week or weekend (I haven’t bought the chicken yet.) Can’t wait to try it! I’ll let you know how it goes.

            I also just told my sister about your site. She’s a vegetarian, and I think she’ll like your recipes as well as your way of explaining how to cook a recipe with your beautiful photographs and descriptions.

          • Barb February 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

            Thanks for suggesting my site to your sister, Catherine 🙂 And I’m so happy you found some Jamaican Allspice! Let me know how the recipe turns out for you.

  3. Mao Mao Kitty February 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    This has my tummy growling! I’m hoping to put it into the menu planning for next week. We eat a lot of chicken in our household and I have yet to try a Caribbean flavored dish. Love spicy (spicy hot and spicy spicy) food.

    • Barb February 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      Yeah you must try it! It’s a pretty simple recipe to prepare…just a matter of getting the spices.

  4. Aly April 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    How much oil do you add into the jerk spice mixture? You did not write the amount into the recipe

    • Barb April 7, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Hi Aly – It’s 2 tablespoons of oil. Sorry about that! I will update the recipe.

  5. Rachel (Teacher-Chef) August 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    YUM – we just returned from our Honeymoon in Jamaica & Costa Rica. After having Rice & Beans with almost every meal for over 2 weeks, we were craving it again after being home for less than a week. This is tonight’s dinner… yours seems like the most “authentic” to what we ate. I LOVE the variety of Rice & Beans the country (Costa Rica) has depending where you are!

    • Barb August 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

      That’s great, Rachel! I LOVE rice & beans too! I’m so happy you found my recipe…can’t wait to hear how you two like it. Keep me posted! Congratulations, BTW 🙂

  6. Peter V. December 19, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    This is now a staple in our bi-weekly food rotation. I will agree that the Jamaican Allspice was a bit pricey but COMPLETELY WORTH IT! We’ve made this recipe over 4 times already and about 1/2 way through the bottle. Enjoy! You won’t regret it!

    • Barb December 19, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      Wow, that’s great Peter! Love that this has become a regular dish for you.

  7. Jashani January 13, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    I made this for dinner tonight, along with some fried cabbage. It was a hit with my husband and kids.Thanks for sharing.

    • Barb January 13, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      That’s great Jashani, so happy everyone enjoyed it!

  8. Chelsea @ A Duck's Oven May 12, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    I made this for dinner the other night and it was fantastic! I used Mixed Spice in place of the Jamaican Allspice and it was great. The leftovers were awesome for lunch! Things I found that worked well when making this: I like to bake chicken with the skin on on a cooling rack sitting on a cookie sheet- line the cookie sheet with foil because the sugar in the marinade will make the drippings burn. Second, get the marinade under the skin for maximum flavor!

    • Barb May 12, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      That’s great, Chelsea, I’m thrilled you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for the great tips. I will definitely be using them next time 🙂

  9. Chrisp May 23, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I made it last fall and all my roommates loved it. Instead of baking the chicken I grilled it at low heat for about an hour. I used a thermometer to make sure it was done right. I’m making it again this weekend for a BBQ, but was gonna double the recipe for more ppl coming. Do you have any recommendations for doubling the recipe? Also, I bought the Jamaican all spice last fall and haven’t used it since, Do you think it is still good?


    • Barb May 24, 2014 at 10:07 am #

      That’s great, I’m so happy you and your roommates loved this recipe! Since you’re doubling it, I suggest every now and then to stir around the chicken pieces so everything gets coated nicely in the marinade. And I think the Jamaican all spice should still be ok! Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday weekend 🙂

  10. Cathy August 26, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    I’m making it now ;-).. Thanks for sharing

    • Barb August 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      Great! Hope you enjoy it, Cathy 🙂

  11. Brinton October 10, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    Hi there:

    Thanks for sharing! Question, do you cover your chicken while its in the oven?

    • Barb October 10, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Brinton – No, I don’t cover the chicken in this recipe. Hope you enjoy it!

  12. Minnie October 17, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    This recipe is full of flavor! The chicken comes out really tender. I used boneless breasts and marinated them for 3 hours. Cooked the chicken for 45 minutes covered, turning once. Instead of white rice, I used yellow saffron rice for a colorful food look. Substitute 3/4 cup coconut milk for that much of the water the rice bag calls for. If you like spice rice, make it with the spicy yellow saffron rice package or a combo of both rice types. Serve with mango slices or pineapple salsa. The mango really enhances the flavors of the chicken and rice.

  13. Brinton October 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Sorry, one more question Barb. What type of rum do you typically use? Clear or dark rum?

  14. Brinton October 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    Sorry Barb, I have one other question. What type of rum do you typically use?

    • Barb October 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      Hi Brinton – Any rum will be fine but I personally use a dark rum.

  15. swaroop March 19, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    awesome recipe for the rice!! had it with lightly fried fish topped by a peppery vinegar sauce i made a few days ago. will try the chicken soon. thanks!

    • Barb March 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

      Yum! That sounds delicious 😀

  16. Amy Giles April 10, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    Great flavour but not a fan of all the dried pieces of thyme….any suggestions on this?


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