Experience some of our sweet and spicy flair at home with this easy recipe for authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken.
Jerk Chicken is a crowd favorite among Chicagoans and foodies the whole world over. The combination of savory, sweet, spicy, and citrus notes derived from the Scotch Bonnet peppers, fresh herbs, and spices used in the marinade are sure to please even the most sophisticated of palates.
Jerk refers to the method used traditionally by Jamaicans to marinade and smoke a variety of meats and vegetables over a slow stoked pimiento wood fire. Here in the states, we achieve this smoky flavor profile by adding copious amounts of allspice into the marinade then grilling. In fact, the aroma smells so good wafting through the air that I once had a homeless man steal the hot meats directly off the grill with his bare hands and run off with it stuffed down his shirt! No lie!
Authentic Jerk Chicken Recipe
Serves: 4 – 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Marinade Time: 6-12 hours
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces; leg quarters or thighs work best
- 1 jar of our Spicy Jerk Sauce & Marinade, 12-oz
- 1/4-cup orange or pineapple juice (optional)
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
- Place chicken pieces into a gallon-sized freezer bag
- Measure out and pour 1 cup of the Spicy Jerk Sauce & Marinade over the chicken
- Seal the bag and manipulate the chicken being sure to evenly distribute the marinade over each piece
- Refrigerate for at least 6 hours; preferably overnight
- Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for a half hour prior to cooking
- Use tongues to place the chicken on heated, clean, and lightly oiled grill grates.
- Grill chicken until cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit using tongs to flip half-way through; about 7 to 10 minutes per side
- Remove and transfer grilled chicken to a platter; allow to rest
- Meanwhile warm remaining 1/2-cup of Spicy Jerk Sauce & Marinade over medium-low heat; if too spicy, add optional fruit juice of choice to taste
- Garnish prepared jerk chicken and sauce with thinly sliced scallions and serve alongside other traditional Jamaican dishes like steamed cabbage, rice and peas.
Did you try this recipe at home?
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