Jamaican Jerk Chicken

In Jamaica, what is jerk chicken?
Jerk chicken is famous in Jamaica for its pungent marinade, which includes allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers, which are similar to habanero chili peppers. (Holes are usually drilled into the meat to allow the marinade to penetrate.)

Jerk chicken, how would you describe it?
Traditional Jamaican dish of grilled chicken marinated in a spicy sauce. The poultry is seasoned with allspice, cinnamon, chiles, garlic, thyme, onion, nutmeg, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a jerk sauce or marinade.


  • 1/4 c fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 1/2 pounds whole chicken, cut in half
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)

Jerk Marinade:

  • 2 tsp Jamaican pimiento, ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • 1/2 tsp mace, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 c green onions, chopped
  • 1 c yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Preheat grill
  2. Rinse the chicken with a mixture of lime juice and water. Dry with a cloth and rub with garlic.
  3. In a blender, mortar, or food processor, combine the remaining ingredients. Process the ingredients until almost smooth, then pour over the chicken; marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade.
  5. Grill until fully cooked, turning frequently. Cut the chicken into 8 to 12 pieces.

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