Jerk Chicken


Jerk is probably the original barbecue of the Americas –  the smokey meeting of West Indian spices and Spanish livestock. The marinade ensures that meat is not only wonderfully spiced, but moist and tender as well.

The Marinade

6 green onions
4 to 6 Habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers (4 were plenty for this northerner)
4 gloves garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wearing gloves, seed and devein the peppers. Put the salt and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the garlic is minced. Add the remaining ingredients and give them a whirl until they are well-combined. Store in the fridge for up to a month. Makes about 3/4 cup.

The Cook

8 chicken thighs (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
1/2 cup jerk marinade

Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and coat with the jerk marinade. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.


Set your grill up for an indirect cook over medium (300°F) heat. Put the thighs on the grill skin side up. Close the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Flip and cook skin side down for another 15 minutes. Flip again and cook  until the internal temperature has reached 180°F in the thickest part of the thighs, about another 30 minutes.

When the chicken is done, remove it to a warm plate and let it rest for 10 minutes.


3 thoughts on “Jerk Chicken”

  1. Jerk is one of my all time favorite styles of chicken. I usually only use 2-3 chilis because my family doesn’t like heat as much as I do.

  2. well ok, I’ve had one bottled Jerk rub that I didn’t like. I’m going to try it again using your recipe. It sounds really good! Thanks for the post.

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