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Jamaican Rice & Peas

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Serves 8 to 10

This is really a rice and beans dish, but in Jamaica, beans are called peas. It's traditionally served alongside Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork.

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2-inch piece ginger, unpeeled, crushed with a mallet or the side of a knife
  • 10 whole allspice berries
  • 5 oz. (3/4 cup) dried red kidney beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 can (about 14 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 scallion, root trimmed
  • 2 cups raw long-grain rice
  • 1 fresh Scotch bonnet chile or habanero

Tie the garlic, ginger, and allspice berries in a small cheescloth pouch. In a 3-qt.ovenproof pot, combine the pouch, beans, coconut milk, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the beans are soft, 1-1/4 to 2 hours. If necessary, add more water during cooking to keep the beans covered.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, and scallion to the beans. Add the rice and enough water to cover the rice by about 1 inch (about 2 cups). Bring to a boil and add the whole chile; don't break, crack, or cut the chile.

Cover and bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the chile, thyme sprigs, scallion, and ginger-garlic pouch before serving.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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