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What to serve with Jerk Chicken?

A friend is making a birthday dinner for his son who has requested Jerk Chicken as the entree. He wants to make rice and beans with it but doesn't know what kind of beans to use in particular and the condiments to cook it with. Any suggestionsand/or recipes for what would be typically Jamaican? What other side dishes/condiments do you suggest?


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  1. Steamed Callaloo with tomatoes
    or my favorite, Rundown Pasta.....
    Coconut Milk, a whole Scotch Bonnet, Whole allspice, chopped tomatoes, let it reduce and toss with linguine, sooo good!

    1. Grilled pineapple skewers? A mojito rice pilaf?

      1. ok I know next to nothing about Jamaican cooking
        except...there was this AMAZINZG restaurant in my town that has since closed, but
        while it was still open they served a jerk chicken dinner with black beans and white rice. Unfortunately I can't identify the herb that was in the rice and beans, but it was scrumptious. they also served a curly lettuce leaf salad with some roma tomatoes and a few carrot curls, very simply dressed. add some cocoa bread and if you're feeling really energetic, some fried plantain.

        hopefully you can just work some google-fu and come up with some good recipes if chowhounders don't come up with specifics. hope that helps.

        1 Reply
        1. re: charlesbois

          I like rice made with coconut milk with jerk chicken... For me, though, the crucial side is the really good beer or ginger beer (mmm Reeds).

        2. i would probably do homemade french fries, as i'm not a huge fan of either black beans or rice.

          another poster suggested callaloo and i agree that greens would go great!

          simple grilled veg would be great as well... zucchini, tomatoes, onions, yellow squash...

          in terms of drinks, i would do red stripe and pineapple daiquiris (made solely with fresh pineapple and rum in a blender, maybe some ice).

          1. Go with peas and rice (use pigeon peas if you can find them, otherwise red kidney beans will do). Good recipe here:

            3 Replies
            1. re: CDouglas

              Second the peas and rice - they somehow just quell any excess heat from the chicken. That recipe above looks stellar, I would just suggest adding a teaspoon or so of allspice and maybe a couple sprigs of clove during the sweating phase.

              Also - Callaloo is tough to find, but you can do collard greens very easily. I make mine with salt pork, stock (chicken, beef, whatevs), and that's about it. Just cook it for an hour or two and you're golden.

              1. re: johnmlinn

                The recipe above isn't a Jamaican version. It should be made with coconut milk. See the one I posted below.

                1. re: johnmlinn

                  Publix carries it in the Jamaican section...... Canned, but pretty good, kind of like kale... (not sure if it's just at the South Florida Publix....)

              2. I've made Robert Lauriston's cilantro rice with jerk before. Very refreshing and the flavors go very well. Here's a link to the recipe.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChrisKC

                  I'm inclined to agree with ChrisKC here, and I just love that Cilantro Rice...everytime I've made the Jamaican style rice and peas with coconut milk, it comes out gummy, though the flavor is good -- I'm sure it's something I'm doing wrong or using a wrong ingredient. Is it supposed to be gummy?

                  1. re: Val

                    Nope, it should be fluffy. Perhaps you are stirring it during cooking? Also, the coconut milk used at home was made at home from grated coconut. I wonder if you are using canned milk if that would affect it?


                2. Probably not authentic Jamaican or anything for that matter, but I make a sweet potato salad that's actually half sweet potatoes, half white potatoes, then make a dressing with mayo or yogurt with mango chutney and chopped scallions. Very good, very easy, can be served either warm or room temperature.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: susan1353

                    wow that sounds good... i amend my earlier post and would instead make sweet potato fries with the yogurt with mango chutney and chopped scallions as a dipping sauce. :)

                  2. Well it should be... the afore-mentioned rice and peas (red beans are commonly used), pan-fried ripe plaintains (made with plantains that have turned black), and a sauteed green vegetable. Real callaloo might be a bit hard to find, and you probably wouldn't like the traditional recipe. It's common to serve a steamed or stirfried type of cabbage dish instead. For a more picnic-style meal, grilled corn on the cob is traditional.

                    This is the most authentic recipe I could find on the net. We did not put hot peppers into our rice and peas. (I remember coconut milk being made for this dish by grating coconut and then pouring hot? water over it.)


                    1. This is so not typical Jamaican but I serve scalloped potatos with my jerk chicken. It's a great match!

                      1. I would make Festival a true Jamaician side dish, it is a fried biscuit and it bought right in the supermarket or a international market, it comes in a box. Also i concur with the rice and peas, i make it with coconut milk, red kidney beans, scallions, hot pepper and thyme. Make a great salad with mangos. for dessert make sauteed bananas with rum for the adults and for the kids honey and sweetned coconut flakes. Have fun IRIE

                        1. I almost forgot the most important part. Whatever you do, do not forget many bottles of Red Stripe.

                          1. I'm a fan of non-manyonaised slaw with my jerk...the coolness of the slaw, both in temperature and heat is always appreciated..usually it will contain julinned red peppers, cucumbers, red onion, and fennel and be tossed in an orange/lemon dressing.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sixelagogo

                              Actually, you can do a slaw of green apple, carrots, cilantro, and ground coriander that's pretty awesome with spicy stuff. A little sesame oil and rice wine vinegar to dress it, maybe some slivers of red onion, but I pref it without.