August is normally all about Notting Hill Carnival but as it’s not on again this year and we can’t watch the parade or hit up the stalls for all the Caribbean food, Mann’s Got Munch has created her version of a Caribbean feast, including jerk chicken & pineapple skewers, rum BBQ sauce, spiced butter plantain, rice & peas and mango & avocado salsa, that you can have a go at making instead. YUM. As Sophie says, “Seeing as we can’t take to the streets to celebrate I’ve rustled up a vibrant and flavourful platter you can recreate at home or on the BBQ for the festivities. This homemade jerk paste couldn’t be easier with my not-so-secret ingredient: kiwi to help tenderise the meat. Marinading the meat and making the BBQ sauce can be done in advance for maximum flavour.”

What You Need

Jerk paste:  
1/2 onion
1 -2 scotch bonnet chillies 
1tsp ground mixed spice
1tsp turmeric 
1/2tsp ground nutmeg 
4 garlic cloves 
1 kiwi 
Thumb-size piece of ginger 
6 sprigs of thyme
3tbsp soy sauce 
2tsp honey 
1tsp black pepper 
1/2tsp salt 

8 chicken thighs (deboned, skin on) cut into chunks 
Small pineapple cut into chunks 
Juice 1/2 lime 

Rum BBQ sauce:
1/2 cup dark rum (spiced or normal) 
1/4 cup soft brown sugar 
1/2 cup ketchup 
2tbsp BBQ sauce 
1tbsp remaining jerk paste 
Juice 1/2 lime 
2tbsp soy sauce 

Rice and Peas: 
100ml water 
200g basmati rice (washed) 
1 can coconut milk 
1 can kidney beans drained 
2 garlic cloves 
Sprigs of thyme 
1/2tsp ground allspice 
1/2tsp salt 
Black pepper to taste 

Spiced butter plantain: 
2 plantains sliced 
1 chilli finely chopped 
3tbsp melted butter 
1/2tsp cayenne pepper 
Olive oil 

Mango & Avo Salsa : 
1 mango chopped 
2 avocado chopped 
Handful coriander chopped 
Fresh chilli finely chopped 
1/2 lime juice 
Cayenne pepper 
Salt and pepper 

What You Do

1. Start by blitzing all the jerk paste ingredients until smooth (reserve 1 heaped tbsp of the paste for the BBQ sauce). Massage the jerk paste into the chopped chicken thighs and leave to marinade for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally 24hrs. 

2. If using wooden skewers soak them in water for an hour before to stop them from burning too quickly. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over the chopped pineapple, allow to sit until skewering. 

3. Make the rum BBQ sauce. Pop all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce to simmer for 6-8 minutes until glossy and thick. Season to taste and leave to cool. 

4. Make the salsa. Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. Chill until serving. 

5. Cook the jerk skewers. Turn the grill on high or wait for the charcoal to turn grey if you’re barbecuing. Thread the marinated chicken and chopped pineapple onto the skewers (roughly 3 pieces of chicken and as much or as little pineapple as you wish per skewer). If there’s any remaining marinade in the chicken bowl, rub it over the pineapple and sprinkle with salt. 

6. Pop the skewers under the grill on a tray or straight onto the BBQ for around 15 minutes, turning occasionally for an even cook until they are nice and charred. 

7. Make the rice and peas. In a saucepan combine the coconut milk, water, washed rice, allspice, garlic, thyme and salt, bring to a boil then simmer with the lid on for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add in the drained kidney beans, pop a tea towel over the top and the lid back on for 5-10 minutes (the rice will still look sticky so it’s important you do this step to allow it to steam and fluff up). Finish with the chicken fat/juices and black pepper to taste. 

8. Make the spiced butter plantain. Mix the melted butter with the chopped chili, cayenne and salt. Add a tbsp of olive oil to a large frying pan and fry the slices of plantain until they begin to colour on both sides. Finish with the spiced melted butter until it browns and the plantain is golden.