Jamaican Jerk Chicken

June 1, 2020

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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I've rated the difficulty of this recipe as "moderate" not because of the process (which actually couldn't be simpler), but because of the ingredient list.  It is rather long and requires a few uncommon elements, such as allspice and nutmeg.  While you may be cautious to cook with these unfamiliar spices (I know I was), please take the plunge and give them a go.  Personally I am not a big fan of allspice, but I can't imagine this recipe without it.  The long list of ingredients meld together perfectly to create a spicy, mouthwatering dish that even the most nervous food eater will enjoy.

The two components of this recipe that you must not change are:

  1. The type of chicken.  You must use bone-in chicken, ideally with its skin still on. Having the chicken on the bone will keep the meat tender and juicy as it helps to spread the heat evenly during cooking, while the skin seals in the moisture. Bone-in also means that you will need to cook the chicken a bit longer, allowing the jerk seasoning to really penetrate into the meat. 
  2. You must marinate the chicken overnight. It would be a shame to put so much into a mix only to have it sit on the chicken for a few minutes during cooking.  When you marinade chicken (or anything really!) you are actually breaking down the proteins in the meat, leaving a tender and more flavorful cut.

And, whatever you do, make sure you do not leave your chicken unattended on the BBQ!  Small bits of the marinade combined with the droplets of fat from the chicken will slowly cook off and create flare ups.  If you are not watching closely your meal will end up burnt to a crisp.  A splash of beer does wonder to stop a flare up, so I highly recommend sipping a beer while cooking!  Enjoy 🙂

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

June 1, 2020
: 4
: 12 hr 15 min
: 25 min
: 12 hr 40 min
: Moderate


  • 4 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, legs, breast)
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into quarters
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 green onions, cut into 2-3in pieces
  • 2 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers
  • 1 tbl fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbl all spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 2 tbl spiced rum
  • 1 tbl soy sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 c.)
  • Step 1 Place all ingredients (except chicken) into a food processor and blitz until it forms a slightly watery, chunky paste. Set aside.
  • Step 2 Place your chicken into a large ziplock bag and pour your jerk marinade all over the chicken. Shake it around a bit to ensure each piece is covered, then place in the fridge overnight.
  • Step 3 When you are ready to cook your chicken, preheat your BBQ to medium / medium-high heat (about 400F) and grease your grill grates lightly with oil.
  • Step 4 Grill until the chicken is cooked through (internal temp of 165F), turning occasionally - anywhere from 20 to 30min, depending on your cut of chicken. These babies like to flare up so be careful not to leave them unattended for too long.
  • Step 5 Once cooked, let rest for 5 minutes before serving. These are extra delicious paired with grilled pineapple, beans and rice!

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