Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Before I went to Jamaica for the first time, everyone {and their dog} told me that i must try the Jerk Chicken. Not having tried it before, I was curious, and always game for a new chicken dish to fall in love with. So I did.

Yep, love at first bite.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken is and always will be a dish that reminds me of sweet Caribbean air, waves kissing the shore, sun and tropical bliss. Funny how some foods bring you back and memories take over.

Once home, and in the bitter cold Canadian Winter, my husband asked if I could make Jamaican Jerk Chicken. I’m sure it could be done, and I bet it takes really good. Yet, I was worried that it wouldn’t be the same. That without the founding beautiful location, having this here would somehow squash those memories where food meets memory.

Ultimately, my craving for this delicious chicken won. I had to get my Jamaican Jerk Chicken fix! So, I tried it …

Making Jamaican Jerk Chicken at home requires a few ingredients for the marinade. While there’s quite a few variations on the recipe, I focused primarily on the Sandals Lifestyle one, since I fell in love with Jamaican Jerk Chicken at Sandals Resorts Negril.



Yet, I did change around their recipe a little. I added some lime juice and real habanero peppers are so hard to come by in small city Alberta. Instead, I opted for a Red Habanero Hot Sauce which I picked up at a small and quaint Mexican shop downtown. Which, as a side note, might be one of my favourite shops now.

This Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe calls for a lot of hotness in the form of peppers, onions, scallions, garlic, ginger, allspice. As a warning: your eyes will water when cutting, chopping and the action of just pouring the mixture over the chicken.

The house will fill with the warmest spice, who knew this alone could make you think that you are actually eating this hot mixture. It’s almost unbelievable.

In fact, all day I wondered if perhaps this could be too spicy hot for myself to enjoy, especially the kids. Again, I was worried.

Yet, here’s the saving grace – when done and you take a bite, it’s not intense and never too much. The hotness cuts down a lot and instead you are left with flavour. Great flavour. 


It’s true, this Jamaican Jerk Chicken tastes very similar to the original. It’s not the same, to me at least, but it’s so close that I get that incredible feeling of nostalgia. If I close my eyes {and shush the kids}, I can envision myself on that beach patio. For a minute at least. Hey, I’ll take what I can get! 

Next time I make this, it will be BBQ’ed though. I opted for oven-cooked this time, yet I’m sure it would be even closer to the real-deal if the chicken were grilled. Right now I’m adding ‘making Jamaican Jerk Chicken on the BBQ’ to my list of a billion things I love about Summer. 

Here’s the full recipe and I urge you to give it a try. Again, don’t let the ingredients scare you away if you are more of a ‘mild than hot’ person. Trust me, I am that way most of the time and I LOVE this recipe!  

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
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  1. 1 tablespoon Red Habanero Hot Sauce
  2. 2 tablespoons stemmed fresh thyme
  3. 1 tablespoon freshly ground allspice
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  5. ¾ cup chopped onion
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  7. 1 ½ cups finely chopped scallions (using the white and the green parts)
  8. 5 chicken pieces {leg with back attached is what I use}
  9. ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  10. 1/2 cup soy sauce
  11. Juice squeezed out of 3 Limes
  1. Mince the first 8 ingredients {except for the soy sauce and chicken} in a food processor, until it's a fine mixture.
  2. Stir in the soy sauce.
  3. Place chicken parts into a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Pour mixture over the chicken and make sure all sides of the chicken is coated.
  5. Marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, to overnight.
  6. Bring chicken to room temperate before cooking
  7. Cook at 375 for 1 hour and 25 minutes or until the outside is crispy and chicken is well cooked.
  8. Enjoy with fries and a salad if you wish {coleslaw or caesar}
My Organized Chaos http://www.myorganizedchaos.net/
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    • Tammi says

      Substitute the habanero if you need to, that was the hardest for me to find. yet, we do live North… boo! lol

    • Tammi says

      I normally don’t like a lot of intense spices, yet this is delicious. Definitely worth a try!!

    • Tammi says

      Truthfully, I’ve never made anything with Allspice, I had to buy some. What else can I use it for?


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