Jamaican Rice and Peas
This island staple is also known as "Jamaican coat of arms." Some people add chiles to make it spicy, but we like it mild and slightly sweet to complement the heat of the jerk chicken.
- 3/4 cup dried red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a large knife
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 1/2 cups long-grain rice
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring beans, garlic, coconut milk, and 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook until beans are tender but not mushy, 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours.
Stir in 2 1/2 cups water, the rice, scallions, thyme, and 1 tablespoon salt; season with pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir once, then reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, without stirring, until all liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, 15 minutes. Fluff mixture with a fork, and season with salt and pepper.