Grilled Jerk Chicken

BBQ Grilled Jamaican Chicken
BBQ Grilled Jamaican Chicken

Grilled Jerk Chicken

  • Author: Stacy Chillwell
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Jerk is a native cooking style to the island of Jamaica. Lots of folks who have traveled there know the complexities in this type of spice rub. Between the grill and the spices, jerk chicken is a truly unique dish against the rest of the grilled chicken dishes out there.

This chicken dish is a breeze to make, and will make you feel like you are enjoying the island breeze no matter where you are from.



  • 1 small sweet onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 scallions, quartered
  • 1 Habanero chili pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp Asian five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 21/2 to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks or breasts)


  1. Begin with the marinade. In the bowl of a food processor, add all ingredients aside from the chicken. Process until the mixture is finely ground and turned into a paste. The mixture will be slightly gritty. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  2. Add your chicken to the bowl with the marinade and toss together evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to marinade at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  3. After marinating, eat up your grill to medium high. Oil your grill with a wad of paper towels dipped lightly in oil to avoid sticking. Place the chicken on the grill skin side down and sear, discarding the rest of the marinade. Close the grill to continue cooking for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. After 10 minutes, the skin should be charred and crispy. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, covered, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately.


Be extra careful when working with Habenero peppers. They are extremely hot and can burn the hands, eyes, or anything else you touch afterward. I like to use kitchen gloves when handling these hot peppers, and wash my hands thoroughly after handling them.

  • Category: main
  • Method: grill
  • Cuisine: jamaican
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