Chicken

One-Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice

Today, I’m bringing you a mouth-watering recipe that’s sure to become a family favorite: One-Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice. This dish is packed with Caribbean flavors, easy to prepare, and perfect for feeding a crowd. Whether you’re planning a weeknight dinner or a festive gathering, this recipe will have everyone asking for seconds. And to make it even more special, I’ll also include a recipe to make your own homemade jerk seasoning. Let’s get cooking!

Imagine tender, juicy chicken thighs seasoned with spicy jerk seasoning, cooked to perfection alongside fluffy rice infused with the rich flavors of coconut milk, aromatic thyme, and hearty kidney beans. This one-pot wonder not only saves you time on cleanup but also ensures that every bite is bursting with deliciousness. It’s a complete meal that hits all the right notes—spicy, savory, and satisfying. Plus, the ease of preparation means you can enjoy more time with your loved ones and less time in the kitchen.

Jerk Chicken and Rice is not just a meal; it’s an experience. The combination of spices in jerk seasoning offers a depth of flavor that is unmatched. The heat from the scotch bonnet pepper, the sweetness of the coconut milk, and the savory elements of the chicken and rice blend together in perfect harmony. Whether you are a seasoned cook or someone just starting in the kitchen, this dish is accessible and rewarding. It brings a taste of the Caribbean right into your home, making any meal feel like a celebration.

Ingredients

For the Jerk Chicken Thighs

  • 2½-3 pounds (1-1.5 kg) chicken thighs (about 5-6 pieces)
  • 1½ teaspoons (8g) salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons (12-24g) jerk seasoning

For the One-Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice

  • 4 tablespoons (60ml) canola oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 cups (360g) uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces/1¾ cups) coconut milk
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) white pepper
  • 1½-2 teaspoons (8-10g) Creole seasoning (or jerk seasoning)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-2¼ cups (470-530ml) chicken broth (or water) – if using 6 chicken thighs, use 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) paprika (optional)
  • 1 green onion for garnish (optional)

Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Creating your own jerk seasoning at home ensures you get the freshest, most flavorful mix possible. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon ground thyme)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix evenly until well combined.
  3. Store in an airtight container. Use as needed.

Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing One-Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice

Step 1: Preheat and Prep

Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Start by washing the chicken thighs. To ensure they cook faster, make a ½-inch slit into the meat on either side of the bone and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken thighs with 1½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of chicken bouillon if using.

Step 2: Season the Chicken

Generously rub both sides of the chicken thighs with the homemade jerk seasoning. This will give the chicken that signature spicy and aromatic jerk flavor.

Step 3: Brown the Chicken

Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet, Dutch oven, or any oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs skin side up and brown them for about 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the seasoning. Once browned, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.

Step 4: Sauté Aromatics

Wipe the pan with a paper towel to remove any burned bits. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the diced onion, thyme, minced garlic, and bay leaves. Sauté until the onions are soft but not golden, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 5: Add Rice and Beans

Add the uncooked long grain rice and rinsed red kidney beans to the pan. Stir them into the sautéed aromatics to combine.

Step 6: Incorporate Liquids and Seasonings

Pour in the chicken broth (or water), coconut milk, white pepper, Creole seasoning (or jerk seasoning), and 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon if using. Stir to combine all ingredients. If you like a bit of extra heat, you can add a whole scotch bonnet pepper at this stage.

Step 7: Cook the Dish

Place the browned chicken thighs back into the pot, arranging them on top of the rice mixture. Bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, transfer the pan to the preheated oven and cook, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the rice is tender.

Step 8: Garnish and Serve

Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Expert Tips and Tricks

Marinate the Chicken

For an even deeper flavor, marinate the chicken thighs in jerk seasoning overnight. This allows the spices to penetrate the meat, making it even more flavorful.

Adjust the Spice Level

If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the amount of jerk seasoning or omit the scotch bonnet pepper. Conversely, if you love heat, add more jerk seasoning or include extra hot peppers.

Even Cooking

Ensure the chicken thighs are similar in size for even cooking. This ensures all pieces cook at the same rate, preventing some from drying out while others are undercooked.

Rice Texture

If the rice is too dry after cooking, add a splash of chicken broth or water and let it sit covered for a few minutes. This helps to rehydrate the rice and make it fluffier.

Flavor Boost

Add a squeeze of lime juice before serving for a fresh, tangy kick that complements the spicy and savory flavors of the dish.

Use Fresh Ingredients

Whenever possible, use fresh thyme, garlic, and onions. Fresh ingredients enhance the overall flavor and aroma of the dish.

Don’t Overcrowd the Pan

When browning the chicken, avoid overcrowding the pan. Brown the chicken in batches if necessary to ensure a nice, even sear.

Let it Rest

Allow the dish to rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This helps the flavors meld together and makes for a more cohesive dish.

Variations

Vegetarian Jerk Rice

Replace chicken with tofu or more vegetables like bell peppers and zucchini. This variation is perfect for vegetarians or those looking to reduce their meat consumption.

Seafood Twist

Substitute chicken with shrimp or a mix of seafood. The cooking time will be shorter, so add the seafood closer to the end of the cooking process.

Different Beans

Use black beans or chickpeas instead of red kidney beans. This can add a different texture and flavor to the dish.

Brown Rice

Substitute long grain rice with brown rice for a healthier option. Note that brown rice requires a longer cooking time, so adjust accordingly.

Quinoa

For a protein-rich variation, use quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa cooks faster than rice, so keep an eye on it to prevent overcooking.

Pineapple

Add pineapple chunks for a sweet and tangy flavor contrast. Pineapple pairs wonderfully with the spicy jerk seasoning.

Extra Veggies

Add carrots, peas, or spinach to increase the vegetable content. This not only adds nutrients but also color and flavor to the dish.

Spicy Jerk

Increase the amount of jerk seasoning and add extra hot peppers for more heat. This variation is for those who love their food spicy.

Coconut Cream

Use coconut cream instead of coconut milk for a richer dish. Coconut cream has a thicker consistency and more intense coconut flavor.

Herb Blend

Experiment with different herbs like cilantro or parsley for garnish. Fresh herbs add a burst of color and freshness to the dish.

What to Serve with Jerk Chicken and Rice

Fried Plantains

Sweet and crispy, they balance the spiciness of the dish. Fried plantains are a traditional Caribbean side that complements the flavors of jerk chicken perfectly.

Coleslaw

A tangy, creamy side that complements the jerk seasoning. Coleslaw adds a refreshing crunch and can help cool down the heat from the spices.

Green Salad

Fresh and light, helps to cool down the heat. A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette is a great accompaniment to the rich flavors of jerk chicken and rice.

Roasted Vegetables

Adds more nutrients and color to the meal. Roasted vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini add a healthy and colorful element to your plate.

Cornbread

Sweet and savory, perfect for soaking up the sauce. Cornbread is a comforting side that pairs well with the spicy and savory elements of jerk chicken and rice.

Mango Salsa

Fresh and fruity, pairs well with the spicy jerk flavor. Mango salsa adds a sweet and tangy contrast that enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish.

Avocado Slices

Creamy and cooling, a perfect contrast to the spicy chicken. Avocado provides a rich, buttery texture that balances the heat of the jerk seasoning.

Steamed Vegetables

A healthy and simple side. Steamed vegetables like broccoli, green beans, or asparagus are nutritious options that complement the main dish without overpowering it.

Coconut Rice

For extra coconut flavor, serve with additional coconut rice. Coconut rice enhances the tropical feel of the meal and adds a subtle sweetness.

Pickled Vegetables

Adds a tangy crunch to the meal. Pickled vegetables like cucumbers, onions, or carrots provide a sharp, acidic bite that cuts through the richness of the dish.

Storage Tips

Refrigeration

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure the dish is completely cooled before storing to maintain its texture and flavor.

Freezing

For longer storage, freeze the dish in portion-sized containers for up to 3 months. This is a great way to have a ready-made meal on hand for busy nights.

Reheating

Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or broth if needed to prevent drying out. When reheating in the oven, cover the dish with foil to retain moisture.

How Much Jerk Chicken and Rice Should I Make for Family Gatherings?

For a family gathering, it’s always better to have a little extra. This recipe serves about 4-6 people. If you’re serving more guests, you can easily double the recipe. Remember, it’s a crowd-pleaser, so expect everyone to come back for seconds!

When planning for larger gatherings, consider the appetites of your guests. If you have a mix of adults and children, this recipe will likely serve up to 6 people. However, for a group of adults with hearty appetites, you might want to double or even triple the recipe. It’s also a good idea to have plenty of sides available to ensure everyone is satisfied.

How Far in Advance Can I Make the Jerk Chicken and Rice?

You can prepare this dish up to 2 days in advance. Cook the recipe as instructed, then let it cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the oven, adding a bit of broth or water to keep it moist.

If you’re planning to make this dish ahead of time for a special event, prepare and cook it fully, then store it in an airtight container. Reheat it slowly on the day of the event, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating. This way, the flavors have more time to meld together, making the dish even more delicious.

Additional Tips for a Successful Meal

Use Quality Ingredients

Whenever possible, use the best quality ingredients you can find. Fresh chicken, high-quality spices, and fresh vegetables will all contribute to a more flavorful and satisfying dish.

Taste as You Go

Don’t be afraid to taste your dish as you cook. This allows you to adjust the seasoning and ensure the flavors are balanced. Remember, you can always add more seasoning, but it’s hard to take it out.

Presentation Matters

Take a moment to present your dish beautifully. Garnish with fresh herbs, lime wedges, or additional chopped green onions. A well-presented dish not only looks appealing but also enhances the dining experience.

Pair with Drinks

Consider pairing your meal with a refreshing beverage. Tropical drinks like coconut water, pineapple juice, or a light beer complement the flavors of jerk chicken and rice.

Share the Experience

Cooking is more enjoyable when shared with others. Invite friends or family to join you in the kitchen. It’s a great way to bond and share the love of good food.

Stay Organized

Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you cook. This makes the process more enjoyable and less stressful. Have all your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking.

One-Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 30 minutesCook time: 40 minutesRest time: 40 minutesTotal time: minutesServings:4 servingsCalories:300 kcal Best Season:Summer

For the Jerk Chicken Thighs

  • For the One-Pot Jerk Chicken and Rice

  • Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Start by washing the chicken thighs. To ensure they cook faster, make a ½-inch slit into the meat on either side of the bone and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken thighs with 1½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of chicken bouillon if using.
  2. Generously rub both sides of the chicken thighs with the homemade jerk seasoning. This will give the chicken that signature spicy and aromatic jerk flavor.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet, Dutch oven, or any oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. Place the chicken thighs skin side up and brown them for about 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the seasoning. Once browned, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  4. Wipe the pan with a paper towel to remove any burned bits. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the diced onion, thyme, minced garlic, and bay leaves. Sauté until the onions are soft but not golden, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the uncooked long grain rice and rinsed red kidney beans to the pan. Stir them into the sautéed aromatics to combine.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth (or water), coconut milk, white pepper, Creole seasoning (or jerk seasoning), and 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon if using. Stir to combine all ingredients. If you like a bit of extra heat, you can add a whole scotch bonnet pepper at this stage.
  7. Place the browned chicken thighs back into the pot, arranging them on top of the rice mixture. Bring everything to a boil. Once boiling, transfer the pan to the preheated oven and cook, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the rice is tender.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!
Keywords:Bay Leaves, Canola Oil, chicken bouillon, Chicken Broth, Chicken Thighs, coconut milk, Creole Seasoning, Garlic, Green Onion, jerk seasoning, long grain rice, onion, Paprika, red kidney beans, salt, scotch bonnet pepper, Thyme, white pepper

Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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