Right before I got married, I received an email from a reader (Laura) asking about a Jerk Chicken Recipe.  This couldn’t have been a better time to ask for this recipe as I was heading to the Caribbean for my Honeymoon.  While on VayCay, I ate a lot of Jerk Chicken.  I thought all of it was amazing, but one stood out.  It had a great combination of thyme, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.  You could taste all of the individual spices.  I experimented to try to recreate this masterpiece.  After a few variations I finally determined the ratios.

Jerk Chicken

  • Marinade
    • 5 scallions, roughly chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
    • 3 Scotch Bonnet or Habanero Peppers, seeded
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 1/4 cup lime juice
    • 2 tbs soy sauce
    • 3 tbs olive oil
    • 1 tbs salt
    • 1 tbs brown sugar, packed
    • 1 tbs fresh thyme leaves, 2 tsp dried
    • 2 tsp ground allspice
    • 2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • Chicken
    • 2-3 lbs chicken

Roughly chop up the scallions, garlic, and onion.  Place them into a blender for preparing the sauce.  Add the sugar, thyme, allspice, pepper, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and dry mustard to the blender.


Add the lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce and olive oil to the blender.

Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Next remove the stem and seeds from the habanero peppers and place them into the blender.  I recommend using rubber gloves when doing this.  The heat from the peppers will stick with you for a long while.  The last thing you need is to accidentally touch your eye 4 hours after cutting up one of the spiciest peppers known to man.

Habanero Pepper

Pulse the blender until everything is smooth.

Blend until smooth

Place the chicken into a 1 gallon plastic zip top bag and cover with the marinate.  Place the chicken in the refrigerator and let marinate for 4-24 hours.  The longer it marinates the more flavorful the chicken will be.  Make sure to turn the chicken a couple of times while it marinates.

Marinate the Chicken

Preheat your grill to medium/high.  If using charcoal make sure to place the coals to one side making an indirect heat area on one side.

Grill over direct heat

Cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes over the medium/high heat.  Make sure to turn the chicken so that it gets browned on all sides.

Brown on all sides

Once the chicken is browned, turn off one of your burners and move the chicken so that it cooks over indirect heat.  Close the lid and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the juices run clear.

Jerk Chicken

Serve the chicken over rice with your favorite sides.

This was an amazing jerk chicken.  It was reminiscent of the great chicken I had in the Caribbean.  I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.  It totally brought me back to the Caribbean.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

1 Comment

  1. Jerk chicken has got to be my favorite chicken recipe ever. To my amazement, my boys like it too and they generally don't like spicy food.

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