Main Dishes

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken is a recipe that is authentic to Jamaican cuisine. Easy to make and full of flavour, the chicken is crispy and moist while the spices are a delicious blend!


Jerk Chicken

For more ethnic flair for your chicken dinner, try these amazing Chicken Enchiladas, or this Baked Hawaiian 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!

jerk chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Jamaican Jerk Chicken is a recipe that is authentic to Jamaican cuisine. Easy to make and full of flavour, the chicken is crispy and moist while the spices are a delicious blend!


  • 1 tablespoon Red Habanero Hot Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons stemmed fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped scallions, using the white and the green parts
  • 5 chicken pieces {leg with back attached is what I use}
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 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}
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 1527mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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

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

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

  1. My husband loves to grill, so this would be a great change-up for our usual burgers and hot dogs! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. Ooh yummy, I’ve always been curious about Jamaican Jerk Chicken.. but never got around to making it. Sounds like I have a new recipe to try. This sounds delish!

  3. I fell in love with Jerk Chicken at a Beaches in Jamaica so I will definitely have to try this. I have been using jerk seasoning from the Bulk Barn and it is tasty but does match what we had in Jamaica. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sounds very good, and ya that was my biggest concern was the spicy and hotness of this dish, but after reading your post and I will trust you that it’s not to hot after all, I am going to make this as I too am always looking for new ways to jazz my chicken up a bit…thanks for sharing!

  5. I have never tried Jerk Chicken but I have heard amazing things about it, may have to give your recipe a try once we get the BBQ up and running.

  6. I love super spicy so jerk chicken is one of my favorites too. I can’t wait for BBQ season!

  7. i am going to make this, hubby will love all the spices,since he does not eat salt,thanks

  8. this looks absolutely mouthwateringly delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe, pinned to try for later!

  9. This sounds awesome Tammi! I will have to try it. We, also stayed at Sandals Negril and fell in love with the Jamaicans and their beautiful country! Do you drain off the marinade before baking? Thanks for doing the work to make and share this recipe. 😀

  10. And now you made me courious about trying it!! Guess I will be hosting a. Jamaican themed dinner this weekend

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