Jerk chicken has been a long-time obsession for me and my husband. Even in the dead of winter, I’ll marinate and grill enough of this popular Jamaican chicken to feed a small island because, yes, it is that delicious (and equally versatile). It really is one of the best marinades you’ll ever learn how to make. And while Jerk chicken is intended to be quite spicy, it’s easy to modify the recipe to make it as mild as you’d like.
First, grind allspice berries in a small food processor. Once allspice berries have been ground to a coarse powder, transfer them to a larger food processor filled with other marinade ingredients. Then, pulse until ingredients are coarsely chopped and combined. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and soy sauce.
To marinate chicken, add chicken to a large baking tray, mixing bowl, or heavy-duty ziplock bag. Coat chicken in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and black pepper. Add marinade, making sure to coat entire surface of chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
To grill the chicken, transfer the chicken pieces to the grill (discard the marinade). Cook for about 5-7 minutes undisturbed before flipping to cook on the other side for an additional 5 minutes. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and cover the grill.
Let chicken cook, low and slow, checking every few minutes for hot spots and flipping as needed. The chicken is finished cooking when internal temperature registers 157-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, remove chicken to a clean baking dish and cover with foil. Allow chicken to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.