Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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One of my favourite summer foods is Jerk Chicken and although the area I live in has a large Caribbean population, and there are several Caribbean restaurants near by nobody does a good mouthwatering jerk.  There used to be a BBQ place that I was addicted to run by a Jamaican gentleman and their jerk was awesome.  For whatever reason they closed and that option was gone.

Thankfully between my husband and his mother, I was able to learn how to make authentic jerk chicken sans the Jerk pan… or even a BBQ.  Yeah, we don’t have a BBQ so I can attest that this recipe is bomb whether you are cooking it in a real jerk pan, on a grill or just in your home oven.

Oh and before it gets asked… Yes, Soy Sauce is an authentic ingredient.  There has been an asian population in Jamaica since the 1860s, and they have had a small influence on Jamaican culture.

 

Ingredients

5 Scallions (Spring Onion)

1 Medium Red Onion

5 springs fresh thyme

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp ground allspice

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp ground ginger

2 Scotch bonnet peppers

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup lime juice

6 chicken legs with back attached

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Directions

*Note – Scotch Bonnet Peppers are among the hottest out there.  You WILL want to remove the seeds and core to get just the right level of heat that won’t take over the jerk flavour. 

Puree all ingredients except chicken until Smooth-ish in a blender or food processor

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Prepare chicken pieces as you normally would for BBQ.  We remove the skin, but it also tastes good with skin on if you are grilling.

Pierce the chicken pieces to allow the marinade to penetrate through the chicken better.

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Place chicken in a dish appropriate for marinading then cover with Jerk Sauce.  Refrigerate for 2+ hours.  Overnight is best.

Oven Directions

Preheat oven to 375F

You can either place baking dish on middle rack and cook for 60 minutes uncovered in the marinading dish  OR remove chicken to a baking sheet and cook for 60 minutes uncovered. 

Cooking in the marinading dish will result in a more moist chicken but you get a more authentic flavour when baked on a sheet without all the sauce surrounding it.

Grilling Directions

Remove chicken from the marinade pan. Pour the remaining marinade into a  saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Grill on Medium High, turning the chicken occasionally and basting with marinade as you would with any BBQ chicken.

Serve with Rice & Peas, creamy coleslaw, and boiled green bananas or fried plantain for a more authentic experience.

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Jerk Chicken
Authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 5 Scallions Spring Onion
  • 1 Medium Red Onion
  • 5 springs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 6 chicken legs with back attached
Instructions
  1. Puree all ingredients except chicken until Smooth-ish in a blender or food processor
  2. Prepare chicken pieces as you normally would for BBQ. We remove the skin, but it also tastes good with skin on if you are grilling.
  3. Pierce the chicken pieces to allow the marinade to penetrate through the chicken better.
  4. Place chicken in a dish appropriate for marinading then cover with Jerk Sauce. Refrigerate for 2+ hours. Overnight is best.
Oven Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. You can either place baking dish on middle rack and cook for 60 minutes uncovered in the marinading dish OR remove chicken to a baking sheet and cook for 60 minutes uncovered.
  3. Cooking in the marinading dish will result in a more moist chicken but you get a more authentic flavour when baked on a sheet without all the sauce surrounding it.
Grilling Directions
  1. Remove chicken from the marinade pan. Pour the remaining marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Grill on Medium High, turning the chicken occasionally and basting with marinade as you would with any BBQ chicken.
Recipe Notes

Scotch Bonnet Peppers are among the hottest out there. You WILL want to remove the seeds and core to get just the right level of heat that won't take over the jerk flavour.
Tip: Serve with Rice & Peas, creamy coleslaw, and boiled green bananas or fried plantain for a more authentic experience.

19 thoughts on “Jamaican Jerk Chicken

    1. lol This recipe isn’t actually that hot. Just make sure you core and seed the peppers. The lime juice helps to tone down the heat as well.

  1. This looks and sounds delicious. We love jerk chicken but don’t make it often as the store bought marinades we have purchased from the grocery stores aren’t very good. We might have to make it from scratch! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. i like finding new recipes to make with chicken. Thanks for all the info on the tradition of the jerks. I cant wait to make this for the family.

  3. Oh yes gal! I love you make the jerk seasoning from scratch! That’s my kind of cooking! Nothing beats jerk chicken cooked in a charcoal drum! (I think Jamaica spoiled me) lol

  4. Wonder Chuck Jerk seasoning is the best of the store bought seasonings. very flavourful and can be made spicy or mild

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