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Authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken

User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (7 Reviews)


Jamaican jerk chicken
Iain Bagwell/Photolibrary/Getty Images
The term “Jerk” comes from the term “Jerky,” which comes from the Spanish “Charqui” (char-key), which is meat cooked over a slow wood fire. Today “Jerk” doesn’t refer to the cooking method, but the fiery spice mix rubbed on the meat before it’s grilled.

While originally from Jamaica, jerk chicken is a popular recipe among spicy food fans all over America. This amazing chicken recipe is great paired with a cold and crunchy coleslaw.

Serves 4 Portions of Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet (very hot), or jalapeno (more mild), seeded, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 whole chicken, cut in sections, slashed 1/2" deep with a knife every few inches


Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and process until a smooth puree forms. Put the chicken in a large bowl, and pour over the marinade. Mix the chicken pieces around to coat them completely, cover, and marinate at least 6 hours.

Remove chicken from the jerk marinade and grill over charcoal until cooked through (internal temp of 165 degree F). You may also broil, or roast the chicken in a hot oven (425 degrees F).
User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
Almost Authentic....., Member amfeb

Truly authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken is cooked over Pimento Wood - (wood from the Jamaican Allspice Tree). The smoke from the wood imparts a key peppery goodness to the meat. In jamaica, they cook on top of pimento wood sticks (similar to our plank grilling) over PimentoWood charcoal and using Pimento leaf. Also, Make sure you have the correct allspice: Check the label - Most Allspice in the US comes from Mexico and Honduras- it is on the sweeter side of allspice - IE..., nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. Because of it's rocky soil, Jamaican Allspice is much sharper - more on the pepper and Clove side of spices. All of these products can be found in the U.S. on the web. Search: Pimentowood

53 out of 55 people found this helpful.

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