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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe - contributed by Tracie Blake

We inherited the "jerk" method from the Arawaks, the earliest recorded inhabitants of Jamaica. They found their food through farming, hunting and fishing. To preserve their meat they used a storage method called "jerking".

jamaican jerk chicken recipe

Here they dug a hole in the ground, place stones on the bottom, place their meat on top and poke holes in the meat.

After this, they would insert a mixture of herbs and spices in the holes. Then, when desired, they would cut portions of the meat and cook on an open fire -this gave the meat the "smoked" flavour.

We may not have kept the preservation method, but certainly kept the approach to seasoning and cooking, and this has been passed down and inculcated as a part of our unique culture from generation to generation.

Today, we jerk a wide array of meats including chicken, pork, lobster, conch and fish.

The Jamaican Jerk Chicken is special though, it’s a delectable way of cooking chicken that melts in your mouth and tantalizes the taste buds making you want more and more.

Of course, the secret is…. actually no secret at all, the ingredients.

Here is simple Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe. Go ahead, give it a try!


  • 3 lbs Chicken [cut to preference]
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Allspice
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Thyme (Finely chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Ground Sage
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup Cooking Oil
  • ½ Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 6 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (Finely chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Onions (Finely chopped)


  1. In a bowl, combine allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, salt, garlic and sugar.
  2. Mix all these herbs and spices together well.
  3. Then, add cooking oil, soy sauce and vinegar. Mix all these together. Add scotch bonnet pepper and onion.
  4. Mix everything well.
  5. Add chicken pieces ensuring all pieces are covered with the mixture.
  6. Let sit for at least an hour for it to marinate.
  7. After marinating, place on grill and cook until chicken is done.
  8. Turn and baste each side with the jerk sauce.

Serve with rice & peas and vegetables, festival- or anything you like!

Results are best if cooked on a grill but it can also be baked in an oven. If you have any sauce left over, don’t worry because it can be used as dipping sauce on the side.

Believe me; you really haven’t had Jerk, until you’ve had our Jamaican Jerk Chicken!

Make sure you visit my page on Free Jamaican Recipes for even more ideas. 

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