Tips To Make Jerk Chicken Recipe Simple

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Jerk chicken is a Jamaican staple, bursting with bold flavors and a smoky aroma. This recipe will guide you through the process of creating this iconic dish, perfect for a backyard barbecue or a weeknight dinner.


Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Jamaican Jerk Chicken

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, or a combination)

  • For the Jerk Marinade:
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and chopped (use gloves!)
  • 4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • Instructions:

    1. Prepare the Jerk Marinade: In a food processor or blender, combine the Scotch bonnet pepper, scallions, garlic, black peppercorns, allspice berries, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and thyme. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Scrape down the sides as needed.
    2. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, and lime juice. Blend until smooth.
    3. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or baking dish. Pour the jerk marinade over the chicken, coating each piece completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to develop.

    4. Cooking the Chicken: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
    5. Arrange the marinated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Discard any remaining marinade.
    6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork. The skin should be golden brown and crispy.

    7. Serving Suggestions: Jerk chicken is traditionally served with rice and peas. You can also enjoy it with roasted vegetables, fried plantains, or a simple salad.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    Calories: 450

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 40g

  • Please note: These are approximate values and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    Jerk chicken is a flavorful and satisfying dish that’s sure to impress your guests. With its smoky spice and juicy tenderness, it’s a true taste of the Caribbean. So fire up your grill or preheat your oven, and get ready to experience the magic of jerk chicken!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe?

    While you can technically use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, they tend to dry out more easily during cooking. The bone and skin in bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces help retain moisture and flavor. If you must use boneless, skinless breasts, be sure to reduce the cooking time and watch them closely to avoid overcooking.

    2. How spicy is this jerk chicken recipe?

    The spiciness of this recipe depends on the heat of your Scotch bonnet pepper. Scotch bonnets are quite spicy, so start by removing the seeds and see how you fare. You can always add more spice later with hot sauce on the side.

    3. What can I do if I don’t have a food processor or blender?

    If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can finely chop all the marinade ingredients by hand. It will take a bit longer, but the results will still be delicious.

    4. Can I grill the jerk chicken instead of baking it?

    Absolutely! Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Be sure to keep an eye on it to avoid burning.

    5. How can I store leftover jerk chicken?