Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken is a heavily spiced grilled chicken that originated in Jamaica, the word came from the cooking style “Jerk” where meat is dry rubbed or wet marinated with a Jerk Spice. The Jerk Spice usually contains an array of different spices like allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, spring onions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt. The Jerk Spice in turn came from an African cuisine but it changed heavily to adapt to local ingredients found in Jamaica.

For this post I will be making it really simple and it will only involve 3 steps: blend, marinate and cook just be careful when preparing one as the chillies used here are really hot so use food gloves when handling them. A really hot and spicy treat but it is so good specially when matched with something cold and sweet like a Mango salsa.


Jerk Chicken

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Jamaican


Jerk Chicken is a heavily spiced grilled chicken that originated in Jamaica, the word came from the cooking style “Jerk” where meat is dry rubbed or wet marinated with a Jerk Spice.



Jerk Chicken

  • 1 kg chicken thighs and legs

Jerk Marinade

  • 1/2 cup malt vinegar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 3 pcs birds eye, habanero or Scotch bonnet chillies, add more if you want it hotter
  • 4 stalks spring onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp allspice
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 thumb sized ginger, sliced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place all Jerk Marinade ingredients in a blender and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.
  2. Place chicken in a container that you can seal tight, pour the Jerk Marinade over the chicken then distribute evenly. Cover the container then refrigerate for at least 12 hrs.
  3. Remove chicken from the container and place them on a baking rack. Reserve the leftover marinade in the container and pour it on top of chicken. Place chicken in a 170C preheated oven then cook for 50 minutes, change the oven mode to grill and increase the heat to 220C, grill for 10 minutes or until light charring occurs.
  4. Serve with Mango Salsa and Rice.

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17 Responses

  1. Good one.

  2. Nors says:

    Mukang masarap yan pre ha

  3. A little rum for the cook a little rum for the bird.. We are so on the same wavelength… Mango Salsa on the side is a perfect accompaniment for the heat.

  4. Mmm, mango salsa would be perfect with Jerk Chicken — it’s in my recipe file now. 🙂

  5. Kristy says:

    My sister actually gave me a packet of jerk spices for the holidays. I have been wondering what to do with it. This looks like an excellent idea!

  6. This jerk chicken looks amazing. And I usually don’t like jerk recipes, but yours seem amazing. I must try this.

  7. Simply Tia says:

    Just made jerk chicken this week as well! Yum!

  8. Simply Tia says:

    btw the mango salsa link does not work. Says “page not found”

  9. I love jerk anything, but jerk chicken has to be the best! Wonderful marinade that you’ve put together for this – super, super flavor. This looks terrific – thanks so much.

  10. My only change would be to double the rum. (Half for the chicken, half for the chef!)

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I see jark Jerk Chicken recipes on food blogs but I have never had tried cooking or even eating this before. It sounds delicious!

  12. Shirley says:

    That looks like such a good dinner, and the rice looks good too. Love jerk chicken.

  13. mjskit says:

    Jerk chicken from scratch! I’m impressed. I usually just use a store bought jerk marinade. 🙂 Thank you for the recipe for jerk. I love and this chicken looks fingerlicking good!!!

  14. Siggy says:

    I don’t have malt vinegar. Can I just use Datu Puti vinegar?

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