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Marinated Jerk Chicken


Jamaican marinade, or jerk sauce, is traditionally used with pork and chicken. Although ingredients vary, jerk seasoning usually includes chiles, thyme, allspice, and cinnamon.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2005


  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, chopped (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grates
  • 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Coarse salt
  • 8 pieces bone-in chicken (drumsticks and thighs), skinned and trimmed of excess fat


  1. Make marinade: In a blender, combine scallions, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, sugar, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water; blend until smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup for brushing.

  2. Place chicken in a shallow dish; season all over with salt. Pour remaining marinade over chicken; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate, turning once or twice, at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

  3. Heat grill to medium-high; oil grates. Lift chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off (discard marinade); place on grill, and cover. Cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is blackened in spots, about 10 minutes.

  4. Move chicken to a cooler part of the grill; brush with reserved marinade. Grill, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Many supermarkets now carry premixed jerk seasoning in the spice section.

Reviews Add a comment

  • kimwylie0523
    14 AUG, 2008
    If you add in some Scotch Bonnet peppers, you'll get the right heat factor. Just BE CAREFUL! The first time I used Scotch Bonnets I made the mistake of rubbing my nose and mouth. Even after scrubbing my hands with soap and water for minutes, the oils were still there. I ended up dunking my face in milk and wearing gloves the rest of the night (to be safe!...needless to say, I looked ridiculous!! Good thing I was cooking alone.). Lesson: WEAR GLOVES when working with Scotch Bonnets. ;)
  • EWjunk
    25 JUN, 2008
    This was pretty tasty, but not very hot, as jerk should be. I even doubled the peppers and didn't seed them. I used boneless chicken breasts instead of bone-in pieces and cooked them accordingly.