rice and peas – educational

For the rice and peas
25g/1oz butter
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
100ml/3½fl oz light coconut milk
100g/3½oz basmati rice
½ x 410g/14oz can kidney beans (do not drain)
1 sprig fresh thyme
½tsp salt
310ml/11fl oz boiling water
1 green bird’s-eye chilli (or ½ Scotch bonnet pepper)
For the jerk chicken
2 tbsp mild jerk seasoning
1 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tbsp tomato ketchup (or barbecue sauce)
1 tbsp clear honey
2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the plantain
30g/1½oz butter
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large ripe plantain, skin removed, cut on the diagonal into slices 2cm/¾in thick
For the salsa
½ small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
½-1 red chilli, finely chopped
½ small ripe pineapple, peeled and finely chopped
½ lime, juice only
½-1 tbsp sugar
2.5cm/1in piece fresh ginger, grated (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1. For the rice and peas, heat the butter in a saucepan and gently fry the spring onions and garlic. Don’t allow them to brown.
2. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil.
3. Stir in the rice, the kidney beans (along with the liquid in the tin), the thyme, salt and boiling water. Add the chilli, then stir, cover with a lid and bring back to the boil.
4. Once it has come to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Fluff lightly with a fork to separate the grains, cover and leave to stand.
5. For the jerk chicken, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the jerk seasoning, soy sauce, tomato ketchup (or barbecue sauce) and honey into a bowl and mix to a paste.
6. Use a sharp knife to make four or five deep cuts at an angle across the skin-side of the chicken breasts.
7. Brush half the jerk paste over the chicken with a pastry brush.
8. Brush a baking sheet with half the vegetable oil. Place the chicken breasts onto the baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining oil. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Brush with the remaining jerk paste during cooking.
9. For the last five minutes of cooking, place the baking tray at the top of the oven, where the temperature is hottest, to brown the chicken. Check the chicken is cooked through – there should be no pink when you cut into it.
10. For the plantain, heat the butter and oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the plantain and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden-brown. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
11. For the salsa, place the onion, chilli, pineapple, lime juice, sugar and ginger, if using, into a pan and heat gently for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, then stir in the coriander and mint.
12. To serve, place the chicken onto serving plates with some rice and peas, a few slices of plantain and a spoonful of salsa. Serve with Irish stout punch