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bowl of grilled jerk chicken with limes

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

This authentic Jamaican Jerk chicken recipe is marinated in a delicious blend of spices and grilled to perfection for the perfect weeknight meal!
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Refrigerate 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 487kcal


  • 1 peeled sweet onion
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper or 1 habanero pepper or 2 jalapeños
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup palm or olive oil
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 3 pounds of mixed chicken things and drums or breasts


  • Add all of the ingredients but the chicken to a blender and blend on high speed until slightly chunky resembling apple sauce.
  • Transfer the mixture to a plastic zip bag, casserole dish or plastic container and completely submerge the chicken.
  • Cover and keep in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, 400° to 450°.
  • Take the chicken out of the marinade and cook on the grill for about 25 minutes turning the chicken every 8 minutes or so to develop a light char. The chicken should reach 165° internally before removing from the grill.
  • Garnish with green onions and lime wedges and serve.


Chef Notes:
  • Make-Ahead: This recipe is best eaten as soon as it is cooked.
  • How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This will freeze, cooked first, covered for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
  • How to Reheat: Place on a cooking sheet tray lined with parchment and bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until hot. Likewise, you can heat up in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate until hot.
  • You can also use this same marinade and method with steak, fish, pork or vegetables.
  • The longer you can marinate up to 24 hours the more flavorful it will be.
  • Do not be alarmed if your chicken is lightly charring, it is supposed to happen when grilling jerk chicken.
  • I usually like to close the door on the grill after the first flip of the chicken to help roast it better.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 619mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.6mg