carribean coooking

Authentic Jerk Chicken Recipe

This authentic jerk chicken recipe features traditional jerk spices and is best served with traditional Jamaican side dishes. Jamaican jerk spices are aromatic, sweet, and intensely hot (in the best way possible). 

Let’s get started!


Marinade Ingredients

01 Red + white wine vinegar

02 Rum

03 Scotch bonnet peppers

04 Red + green onion

05 Fresh thyme

06 Allspice

07 Cinnamon

08 Olive oil

09 Nutmeg

10 Ginger 

White Scribbled Underline

10 Molasses 

10 Salt + pepper 

Gather your ingredients


In addition to the marinade ingredients, you'll need one whole chicken and half a cup lime juice.

Make the marinade


Pulse the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Place the chicken in a large freezer bag, or in a large non-reactive bowl. Pour lime juice over the chicken and coat well. 

Coat the chicken


Coat the chicken pieces evenly and thoroughly with the jerk paste. Cover or seal the chicken and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Prepare extra sauce


Remove chicken from the marinade bag or pan. Bring the remaining marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to use as a basting sauce for the chicken.

Grill the chicken


Preheat your grill to 400 °F. Add salt and pepper to the chicken halves and place them skin side down on the grill. Cover and cook for about 40-50 minutes. 

Continue to baste


Turn the chicken occasionally and continue to baste them with marinade. You'll know the chicken is done when the juices run clear when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh.

Let the chicken rest


Once the chicken is cooked through, transfer the chicken to a large platter and tent loosely with foil. Let stand 15 minutes.

Serve with sides


Cut chicken into pieces. Serve with black beans and rice, and Central American-style fermented cabbage relish

Serve with a side of sauce to drizzle over the chicken for an extra kick!  Visit MK Library for the complete recipe instructions