This jerk chicken is a great store cupboard recipe – and an ideal lunch for the kids

The herbs and the meat itself are the only ingredients for this spicy, nutritious meal that you’ll need to buy at the last minute

My kids love a warm lunch to eat in school, whenever I have a bit of time to make them on cold mornings. I bought them wide mouthed flasks from Irish company a few years ago and have been using them ever since.

They love tortellini or shepherds pie, or any leftovers from dinner the night before that reheat well. Chorizo rice is a favourite of theirs. I fry diced chorizo on a dry pan to release all of those delicious paprika scented fats and then I tip in the leftover rice, stir it and heat through thoroughly.

My ideal quick lunch is rice, fried egg and a spoonful of kimchi. It’s ready in five minutes and so nourishing. I love cooking rice in coconut milk for a luxurious flavour. Here I’ve folded through some coconut oil to give that same buttery flavour and texture.

Jamaican jerk chicken is affordable to make and nutritious while still bringing something fresh and exciting to the table. Jamaican jerk seasoning consists mostly of allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers and thyme. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, among other things, are often added too, which makes it a fragrant mix of flavours.


Of course, you can batch make your own fresh jerk seasoning by toasting and grinding the spices and herbs that you want, but there are some authentic ready-made versions available.

This dinner is warming and the heat can be adjusted according to how much of the seasoning you use. It is a great store cupboard recipe where the chicken and herbs are the only ingredients that need to be bought at the last minute. The peas are actually red kidney beans, which you can use straight from the tin.

Recipe: Jerk chicken, rice and peas

Lilly’s kitchen tips:

  • Speed up rice cooking time by soaking the rice in plenty of water for a few hours beforehand then draining and rinsing under running water. This will also ensure the rice isn’t sticky.
  • Heat leftover rice thoroughly and use within 24 hours of cooking.
  • For perfectly cooked white long grain rice and basmati just measure twice the volume of water or stock to rice and simmer till the water is absorbed.