Holidays in JP: Secret Recipes – Chef Herbie’s Traditional Jerk Chicken

The Gazette asked various JP people and institutions to share their favorite holiday recipes. Whole Foods Market at 413 Centre St. offered the following:

Chef Herbert “Herbie” Ewan began his Whole Foods Market career in the Prepared Foods department at the Jamaica Plain store in May, but Herbie has been cooking for over 26 years. He started working in hotels and restaurants in his native Jamaica, and then settled in Mattapan, where he has been living for over 20 years with his family. Herbie once cooked for President Bill Clinton while he was a banquet cook at the Marriott Hotel in Copley Place.

Chef Herbie is sharing a recipe for traditional jerk chicken, a holiday favorite that originated in Portland, Jamaica, which he will be preparing for his family this holiday season. It features Whole Foods’ Global Animal Partnership Step 2 Chicken, from chickens that live in an enriched environment with no cages and no crowding, no antibiotics, no animal byproducts and no added growth hormones. Herbie likes to serve the chicken with another traditional Jamaican dish, rice and “peas” (kidney beans).


Traditional Jerk Chicken served with Rice and “Peas”

Serves 10



10 lbs. of chicken (whole, legs, quarters, breasts—whatever your family likes)


Jerk Marinade:

3 habanero peppers

2 onions chopped

8 scallions

1 tsp fresh cilantro

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh ginger (peeled)

1 tsp white vinegar

½ tsp fresh parsley

½ tsp fresh rosemary

½ tsp celery seed

½ tsp all spice

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp cumin or adobo

1 oz. 365 Organic Tomato Paste

1 cup 365 Canola Oil

4 garlic cloves

Salt & pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 375F. Blend all jerk marinade ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Marinate chicken in a large bowl. Remove chicken from the bowl and place into a roasting pan. Roast one side for 45 minutes and then the other for another 45 minutes. Your meat thermometer reads 165F when the chicken is done.


Rice and “Peas”

Serves 10



2 lbs rice (Chef Herbie recommends 365 Organic Thai Jasmine Rice)

5 oz. 365 Organic Coconut Milk or coconut cream

1 cup of chopped mixed vegetables (onions, scallions, green peppers, fresh thyme)

Salt & pepper to taste

½ lb “peas” (dried kidney beans)



Cook dried kidney beans “peas” until tender in a large pot. It will take about an hour, and when the peas are done, make sure there is still 32 oz. of liquid in the pot (add more if necessary). Then, add to the pot coconut milk or cream, chopped vegetable mix and cook half covered on medium for 30 minutes. Then, add rice, reduce heat to a simmer, cover with foil and a lid to steam rice. Cook until done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *