Copyright Chris Frost 2019 | All Rights Reserved

Jerk chicken

When I think of jerk chicken, my memory takes me back to visits to Jamaica and also the Notting Hill Carnival, where the smells of jerk chicken cooking on barbecues fill the air.

jerk chicken

Jerk chicken

Jerk chicken is a popular dish from Jamaica, known for its spicy and smoky flavor.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Marinade 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 4 people
Calories 240 kcal


  • 1 Food processor
  • 1 Large bowl or resealable plastic bag



  • 1 kg chicken (thighs, drumsticks, or a whole chicken cut into pieces)
  • ½ cup spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 med onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper or red chilli (minced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vinegar preferably apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 lime (juice)

Seasoning - to taste

  • rock salt
  • black pepper


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth in a food processor or blender.


  • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Make sure the chicken is well coated with the marinade. If using a plastic bag, press out the air and seal it. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight for best flavor.


  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat or preheat your oven to 190°C. Better still, fire up the barbecue and wait until the coals are glowing red.
  • If grilling, oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. If baking, place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. If barbecuing on a charcoal grill, oil the grill to prevent sticking.
  • Grill or bake the chicken for about 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. If you prefer a charred and smoky flavor, you can cook the chicken over a charcoal grill.
  • Serve the jerk chicken hot with your favourite side dishes, such as rice and peas, coleslaw, and/or roasted vegetables.


Feel free to adjust the level of spiciness and sweetness according to your taste preferences. Enjoy your homemade jerk chicken!
Keyword allspice, chicken, jerk

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