Savoury Jerk Chicken

There is something about the summer heat that just calls for lighting up the barbeque. That sear and sizzle magically transforms a piece of meat (or vegetable, if that’s more your thing) to a caramelized morsel of smoky goodness. If l could barbeque everything I eat, l probably would.

This chicken is pretty darn delicious and one of my favourites in my growing collection of recipes. The savoury marinade keeps the chicken tender and moist while the heat of the Scotch bonnets comes on in layers without overwhelming the dish. Accompanied with the sweetness of my Pineapple and Grilled Corn Salsa, this is easily our go-to weekend dinner.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients and spices scare you. This is a great simple recipe to kick your chicken up a notch!


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 Scotch bonnet peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp allspice, ground
  • 2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 chicken breast, skin on, bone-in
  • 5-6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in


Blend all ingredients, except the chicken pieces, in a food processor until pureed.

Chop the chicken breasts cross-wise and divide the chicken thighs and breast halves with the marinade into two sealable plastic bags.  Press out the excess air and seal bags, mixing the marinade and the chicken thoroughly. Place bags in a shallow pan or bowl and refrigerate, preferably for 24 hours (the marinade seeps right down to the bones if you do this!).

Preheat grill burners on high, then lower to medium. Cook chicken until browned on all sides (about 15-20 minutes). Adjust heat to low and cook chicken, with lid covered, until cooked through (about 25 minutes more).

Serve with Pineapple and Grilled Corn Salsa.

Recipe Keynotes: A gradual heat balanced with savoury spices.

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