Jerk Chicken

The best Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe!  including grilling instructions! It’s incredibly flavorful thanks to hours of marinating in a vibrant and deliciously seasoned marinade. And who can resist that light char and crave-able spicy kick? A must try recipe!

Pair it with coconut rice and fresh pineapple to create a tasty and simple Caribbean meal!

This is one of the best marinade recipes you’ll ever try! It’s brimming with fresh flavor and it may seem like a strange combination of ingredients but together they create incredible, well balanced flavor. And it all compliments chicken perfectly.

It’s a great recipe to make for a summer cookout yet it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Just prep the marinade the night before or morning of, add the chicken and let it soak while you’re at work, then when you get home pop it in the oven or throw it on the grill (simmer the rice while the chicken is cooking) and you’ve got a dinner that’s sure to satisfy

Chicken and Marinade Ingredients

  • Chicken pieces (bone-in skin-on) – I recommend using 5 thighs and 5 legs
  • Green onions – 1/2 small red onion could be substituted.
  • Garlic – only use fresh garlic.
  • Ginger – this adds so much flavor, only use fresh.
  • Habanero peppers – scotch bonnet peppers will work too if you can find them. The amount used can be adjusted to taste, these are spicy!
  • Lime juice – in a pinch lemon juice will work too. Don’t use bottled.
  • Soy sauce – if you have low sodium on hand that will work, just add a little salt to the marinade.
  • Brown sugar – honey could be substituted.
  • Thyme leaves – preferably use fresh, in a pinch 1 tsp dried will work.
  • Allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg – these may seem strange with chicken but they’re key ingredients, don’t omit them!
  • Black pepper – it’s a hassle to grind it but it does make a difference

How to Make Jerk Chicken

  • Place chicken pieces in a gallon size resealable bag.
  • Make marinade: add green onions, garlic, ginger, habaneros, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, thyme, and spices to a food processor and plus to chop (it should be slightly coarse not pureed)
  • Pour marinade over chicken: pour mixture over chicken in bag, seal bag while pressing out excess air then rub marinade over chicken.
  • Allow marinating time: rest in refrigerator 3 – 24 hours

How to Grill Jerk Chicken

Heat grill, clean and oil grates: preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees.) Clean grill grates and rub lightly with oil using tongs and an oiled paper towel.

Cook through to 165 degrees: grill until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally (and reducing burning temperature slightly if it’s browning too quickly) about 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 10 bone-in skin on chicken pieces, thighs and legs (about 3 lbs), trim excess fat and skin
  • 6 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces*
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 habanero peppers (or scotch bonnet), stem removed**
  • 1 1/2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Place chicken pieces in a gallon size resealable bag.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to a food processor and plus several times to chop (it should be somewhat coarse). Pour mixture over chicken in bag, seal bag while pressing out excess air then rub marinade over chicken. Let rest in refrigerator 3 – 24 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade. Arrange pieces on baking sheet leaving space between them. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through, about 45 – 50 minutes, while broiling during the last few minutes for better browning.
  4. Grill instructions: preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees.) Clean grill grates and rub lightly with oil using tongs and an oiled paper towel.
  5. Grill until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally (and reducing burning temperature slightly if it’s browning too quickly) about 30 minutes

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