SW recipe: Jerk chicken with rice and peas

Serves 4
Syns per serving 2
Ready in 1 hour, plus marinating


4 skinless chicken legs

Sliced spring onion, to serve

Finely diced red chilli, to serve

400g cherry tomatoes, halved

Lime wedges, to serve
For the marinade:

2 tbsp allspice berries (see cook’s note)

2 tbsp black peppercorns

3 spring onions, sliced

15g fresh thyme, leaves picked

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 red chilli (use a Scotch bonnet if you like heat), halved

4 tbsp soy sauce
For the rice & peas:

250g dried basmati rice, well rinsed

200ml reduced-fat coconut milk

3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus a few leaves to serve

2 garlic cloves, bashed and peeled

1 red chilli, split lengthways

400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed


1 To make the marinade, grind the allspice berries and peppercorns until quite finely crushed. Tip into a large, stainless-steel or glass bowl with the remaining marinade ingredients and stir well.

2 Make several deep slashes in each chicken leg using a sharp knife, then add to the bowl. Use your hands to massage in the marinade (washing them well afterwards), then cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.

3 When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Place a non-stick griddle or frying pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Remove the chicken from the marinade, taking off any spring onion that’s stuck on, and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a non-stick baking tray and roast for 30 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, put all the rice ingredients except the beans in a large, lidded saucepan with 250ml water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 15-20 minutes, adding the beans for the last 10 minutes. Once the liquid has almost evaporated and the rice is nearly cooked, cover and turn off the heat (the steam will finish cooking the rice).

5 Remove the chicken from the oven, leave to rest for a couple of minutes, then top with the sliced spring onion and chilli. Scatter the thyme leaves over the rice, discarding the chilli halves and thyme sprigs before eating, and serve a quarter per person with the chicken, tomatoes topped with freshly ground black pepper and lime wedges for squeezing over.

Allspice berries are available in larger supermarkets. If you can’t find them, using 1 tbsp ground allspice instead is an easy swap

Helping you to get motivated 

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You can also snack on these to satisfy your hunger in between meals.

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And so you never feel deprived you can enjoy limited amounts of treats which are higher-calorie, less filling foods that include chocolate, crisps and alcohol.

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