Rice and Peas

In addition to being the perfect complement to Jerk Chicken or Oxtail stew, serve this hearty Jamaican side with with curries or other savory sauces.

This recipe is a snap to make using the Instant Pot to speed things up. You can also make it on the stove top or in a rice cooker

Rice and Peas

In addition to being the perfect complement to Jerk Chicken or Oxtail stew, serve this hearty Jamaican side with with curries or other savory sauces.
The key ingredient in rice and peas is the coconut cream. We normally use the Grace creamed coconut product which can be found in most grocery stores these days. It comes in a small block that's been reduced to concentrated paste, a bit like cold butter (but at room temperature). There are canned coconut milk products that I haven't tested. I suspect you just need to reduce the water, try 50-50 coco milk and water.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Jamaican
Keyword rice and peas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup Long grain white rice Use Basmati rice if you prefer. Either way, give it a good rinse and drain to get rid of some starch.
  • 1 cup canned black beans, pigeon peas, or black-eyed peas 1 cup is half of a 14 oz can of beans. Try cooking from scratch in an Instant Pot. Extra beans can be saved in the fridge covered in a little of their liquid – use them in salads and soups.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Grace Creamed Coconut
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3 seeds allspice/ pimento gently crush with the side of a chefs knife
  • ½ tsp dried thyme use 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme if you have it
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (optional) for the flavour – leaving it whole doesn't add much heat
  • 2 or 3 green onions flattened with side of a knife


  • Rinse the rice once or twice with some tap water to remove some of the starch. Use a strainer or just swish it around in the pot and carefully pour off the water.
  • Break up the coconut cream into small bits before adding to the pot, to avoid nasty lumps.
  • Add all the ingredients . . . water, salt, allspice, garlic, thyme, green onion, coco cream and a scotch bonnet pepper (optional) to the Instant Pot and stir to blend well.
  • Put on the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes
  • When the time's up, allow it to release naturally for at least 10 minutes, before releasing remaining pressure. You can make it an hour or more ahead of time, using the Instant Pot's keep warm function.
  • Remove the green onion and thyme sprigs, then fluff it up and serve!


Keep any leftover in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

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Jerk Chipotle Seasoning

Real Jerk seasoning – buy it here!

You can now get my Jerk Chipotle seasoning from the Pepper Farm shop! If you crave the taste of authentic Jamaican jerk chicken, then you’ll love this spice blend. I make it by hand from the finest spices and herbs, including fresh ground Jamaican nutmeg, pimento, and cinnamon. A healthy shot of my Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle, delivers the flavour usually associated with the long, slow bbq that makes genuine jerk. Follow my recipe to make jerk marinade for chicken or pork.

Hey, don’t stop there, this spice blend makes an exotic rub to enhance a range of meat and vegetarian dishes. Try using it in vegan burgers, meat rubs, spreads and casseroles. This blend has a mild to medium heat level, with the chipotle lending some fire.

I’ve tried jerk spice blends you can buy at the supermarket, but I’ve found they tend to fall short on flavour (some bordering on insipid). That’s likely because the first ingredient is salt, and the other ingredients are sourced with low cost in mind rather than quality. This product contains NO salt. You’re in control of the sodium and you only pay for top quality spice!

I’ve been testing various formulations of jerk seasoning for a few years now and I’m confident people will love this blend. I grind the whole spices as needed during processing so you aren’t buying stale stuff! Sealed in a convenient zip-lock package, you’re guaranteed maximum freshness.

Jerk Chicken

This Jerk Chicken recipe uses my Bluewater Pepper Farm Jerk Chipotle spice blend combined with authentic Jamaican spices.

Jerk Chicken

This Jerk Chicken recipe uses my Bluewater Pepper Farm Jerk Chipotle spice blend made with a generous shot of my Hot Smokey Chipotle combined with authentic Jamaican spices.  You'll get an authentic smoked flavour from this oven-baked version.  Use 3 to 4 lbs of chicken.  I like leg quarters cut up, but you can cut up a whole chicken or use breasts instead.  
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: jerk chicken
Servings: 6


  • 3 to 4 lb chicken pieces approx size of a whole chicken or buy pre-cut pieces.

Jerk Marinade

  • 1 to 2 tbsp Bluewater Pepper Farm Jerk Chipotle Seasoning use more or less to taste
  • 1 to 2 tsp Salt to taste My Jerk Seasoning contains no salt. I find 2 tsp is about right for a whole chicken, but adjust to suit your taste.
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce For gluten free, use Tamari instead (soy sauce is traditionally made from a blend of soy and wheat)
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 Juice of a lime
  • 2 or 3 Crushed green onions Give them a good whack with the flat of your knife
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Chicken bullion cube Optional
  • 1 tbsp Browning sauce You can find browning sauce in any Jamaican food shop and many grocery stores. Substitute 1 tsp of molasses if you don't have a bottle on hand.
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper Optional – my seasoning mix is mildly hot. The scotch bonnet adds heat and a nice flavour. It's the favourite of my Jamaican friends. Remove the seeds for less heat.


Marinate the chicken pieces

  • Prepare the chicken pieces.  Leave the skin on, trimming off excess fat. (You can remove some or all of the skin but remember, fat adds flavour!)  I like to score the meat deeply using a sharp knife to let the marinade do it’s work.
    Jerk chicken pieces
  • Bluewater Pepper Farm Chipotle Jerk Seasoning
    Bluewater Pepper Farm Jerk Chipotle
  • Whisk the marinade ingredients in a measuring cup or large bowl, keeping aside the onion and scotch bonnet.
    Jerk Marinade
  • Add the chicken pieces, coating them thoroughly with the marinade.  Add the crushed onions and scotch bonnet (if you’re using one)
    green onions
  • Cover and store refrigerated for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
    Jerk Chicken in marinade

Cooking instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • (optional) Brown chicken pieces before baking
  • Place the chicken pieces skin side up in baking dish in a single layer
  • Pour all of the marinade over top of the chicken
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes
  • Remove foil, spoon some marinade on top and bake for another 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and place chicken on serving platter
  • Skim fat off and pour the gravy into a small saucepan
  • Reduce over medium heat to desired consistency and pour some over the chicken.  I like the gravy to be fairly liquid so you might add some liquid at this point too.  It’s going to be spicy, so taste a sample before you add too much!


Serve over rice and peas or plain white rice with a generous serving of delicious gravy.
You can also make this recipe with pork in place of chicken.  Use a relatively fatty cut like a shoulder.   Adjust the cooking time accordingly.  
You can also make this recipe gluten-free.  Use a Tamari sauce instead of Soy sauce.  Check the ingredients if using a bullion cube or browning sauce.   The Bluewater seasoning mix contains no gluten.