Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

The secret ingredient in cooking jerk chicken recipe is to grill chicken outdoors using pimento wood.

This is the method of grilling pork and chicken in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.

The Carib-Arawak Indians who inhabited Jamaica centuries ago would kill an animal, clean and gut it, then placed it in a deep pit lined with stones and covered with “pimento wood,” which, when burned, would smoke heavily and add to the flavor of the meat.

The remains of the animal were "jerked" with a sharp object to make holes, which were stuffed with a variety of spices. The holes also allow heat to escape without any loss of moisture, so that the meat does not dry out but remain juicy and moist.

These Arawaks were superb chefs so their meats were always delightfully spiced, moist and tender.

juicy jerk chicken

Jerk Chicken Recipe

Preparation Time 15 hour

Cooking Time approximately 1hour

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for Jerk Chicken Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon Ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon Dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic powder or fresh cut garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Orange juice
  • 1 Lime juice
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper chopped
  • 3 Green onions -- finely chopped
  • 1 cup Onion -- finely chopped
  • 6 chicken breasts
  • Preparation for Jerk Chicken Recipe

  • 1. Trim excess fat from chicken. In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, ginger, molasses, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, slowly add the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice.
  • Safety note. Scotch Bonnet is one of the hottest chilli peppers and can cause extreme pain if they come in contact with your eyes and skin. I strongly recommend you to wear protective gloves while handling the peppers and the jerk paste.

  • 2. Add the Scotch Bonnet pepper, onion, and mix well. Add the chicken breasts, cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, longer if possible.
  • Grilling Method- Preheat an outdoor grill. In Jamaica we grill our chicken outside using pimento wood.

  • 3a. Remove the breasts from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked or juices run clear.
  • Grilling Method - Internal Grill

  • 3b. Preheat grill to medium high. Place chicken breasts skin side up on the grill grates. Cover. Cook for approximately 45 minutes, keeping the internal grill temperature between 350°F and 400°F, turning the chickens occasionally and basting with marinade, until the chicken breasts are cooked through. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into the chicken breasts about 165-170°F. Transfer chicken to serving tray.
  • Oven Method

  • 3c. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken breasts in a rimmed baking pan, skin side up. Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 50-60 minutes. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into the chicken breasts about 165-170°F. Transfer chicken to serving tray.
  • While grilling, paste with the marinade in the bowl. Bring the leftover marinade to a boil adding some ketchup and a dash of soy sauce and serve on the side as dipping sauce.

    Cut chicken into pieces. Best served with festivals or rolls accompanied with a glass of special juice.


    Jerk Chicken Recipe to Best Grilled Chicken Recipes

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    Other jamaican jerk recipe by jamaicatravelandculture.com