Get. Excited. I made grilled Jamaican jerk chicken and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you.
Here’s what’s up. Jamaican jerk chicken has a couple key ingredients to make that delicious marinade.
One: Scotch bonnet peppers. Gotta have them. Lemme tell you, they are SPICY! I only used two in this recipe, but you can add more if you really want to challenge your taste buds. If you can’t find any of these peppers at your local store, a great substitution is your standard habanero pepper.
Two: Allspice, plus a little cinnamon and nutmeg. When I first made the marinade for this Jamaican jerk chicken I was immediately reminded of Christmas! It might seem odd but these spices are super important for the flavor.
Apart from those two key ingredients, commonly used additions are ginger, garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, limes, green onion, brown sugar, and bay leaves.
For a true Jamaican jerk chicken marinade, spices are used whole and ground up in a food processor. For my recipe I use the same ingredients but the already ground version because TBH those are already in my spice cabinet 🤷🏼♀️. There’s SO much flavor that it works just fine for a little more convenient, homemade version.
Also, who knew this dish was so easy to make?? Blend all the ingredients for the marinade until smooth. Marinate. Grill. That’s literally all there is to it! Get some 👊🏻.Print
Deliciously marinated jerk chicken with the perfect balance of savory, sweet, and spicy flavors.
- 4–5 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
- 4–5 chicken legs, bone-in and skin-on
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves, crumbled
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced + extra for garnish
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers, stems and seeds removed, minced*
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil + extra for grilling
- Lime slices for garnish
- Make the marinade: add all ingredients except the chicken and lime slices to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
- Marinate the chicken: Place steaks in a large ziploc bag. Pour marinade over the steaks, seal the bag, and shake to coat. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours up to overnight.
- Preheat grill. Brush the grill with a little bit of oil. Add marinated chicken to the hottest part of the grill (between 400°F and 450°F), reserving the marinade, and sear 4-5 minutes. Turn over and sear another 4-5 minutes.
- Move chicken to a cooler part of the grill (around 350°F) and brush each piece with some of the reserved marinade. Cook until the chicken temps at 165°F, about 20 minutes, flipping chicken over halfway through and brushing with more of the reserved marinade. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with sliced green onion and lime sliced. Serve immediately.
If Scotch Bonnet peppers are not readily available, habanero peppers are a great substitution!