Overhead image of grilled jerk chicken on a white plate with Jamaican rice and peas.
5 from 6 votes

Grilled Jerk Chicken Recipe (plus marinade)

Learn all about this irresistible Jamaican dish, including How to Make Jerk Chicken, and enjoy with classic Jamaican Rice and Peas!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 841kcal
Author: Jessica Randhawa

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Grind the allspice berries. Use a small food processor of spice grinder to coarsely grind the allspice berries (see notes). Transfer to the bowl of a large food processor.
  • Prepare the marinade. Add the onion, scallions, Scotch Bonnet Chiles (or Habaneros), garlic, Chinese five-spice, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, salt, and sugar to the bowl of your food processor with the ground allspice berries. Pulse and process until everything is coarsely chopped and combined. With your food processor running, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the soy sauce to the marinade. Remove lid and double check that all the ingredients have been fully processed. Set aside.
  • Marinate the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a large baking tray, mixing bowl, or heavy-duty ziplock bag. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken, mixing and turning well to coat the entire surface of the chicken with marinade. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight.
  • Prepare the grill. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Clean grill grates and preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  • Grill the chicken. When ready to cook, transfer chicken pieces to your grill. Discard marinade. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes undisturbed before flipping and cooking the other side for an additional 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover your grill. Allow chicken to cook low and slow, checking every 3-5 minutes for hot spots, and flipping as needed, until internal temperature of chicken reaches approximately 157-160 degrees F. as read with a digital thermometer. Immediately remove from the grill to a clean baking sheet or pan and cover with foil for 3-5 minutes to allow chicken to rest and finish cooking. Serve warm with Jamaican Rice and Peas, fresh lime wedges, or other favorite sides. Enjoy!

Notes

  • The allspice berries are essential to the overall flavor to this Jerk Chicken Marinade. I do not recommend skipping them.
  • You will need to grind the allspice berriesĀ before processing with the remaining Jerk marinade ingredients. To do this, you will need to use a small food processor or spice grinder as a large food processor will be too large.
  • Scotch Bonnet peppers are the traditional pepper used in Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Extremely hard to track down, habanero peppers make an excellent substitute.
  • I asked my local butcher to quarter two 4-pound chickens for me. They turned out moist, juicy and perfect. However, feel free to use your favorite chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, etc), just note that cooking times may vary.
  • Always use a digital meat thermometer when grilling chicken. You want the internal temperature at the thickest point to reach between 160-165 degrees F.

Nutrition

Calories: 841kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.9mg
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