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5 from 1 vote
jerk chicken
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Rest Time
6 hrs
Total Time
1 hr
Jerk chicken is a traditional Jamaican recipe which consists in chicken marinated in a spicy blend for a few hours and then grilled on a BBQ.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Servings: 6 people
Author: Mike Benayoun
  • 6 chicken legs
For the spice mix
  • 3 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves , crumbled
For the jerk paste
  • 4 Scotch bonnet (or habanero chiles), stemmed and seeded
  • 4 scallions , trimmed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves , peeled
  • 1 (1-inch piece) fresh ginger , scrubbed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons rum
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt , to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  1. Mix all the dry spices in a food processor until getting a ground spice blend.
  2. Add all the other jerk paste ingredients and continue blending to until obtaining a paste.
  3. Place the chicken legs in a shallow container and rub the chicken legs with the paste. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
  4. Set BBQ grill on high. After reaching at least 400F/200C, place the chicken legs, skin side down and cook for 10 minutes.

  5. Then, set grill at lowest possible setting, and flip the chicken legs. Grill until fully cooked, about 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with hard-dough bread, festivals (fried dumplings), rice and peas (beans) or salad.
Recipe Notes
  • Ideally use pimento wood or pimento branches mixed with charcoal. Other aromatic woods can also be used to enhance the flavor.