Grilled Jerk Chicken

Grilled Jerk Chicken

20 mins
4 hrs
30 mins

Grilled Jerk Chicken is a classic Jamaican dish made with Scotch bonnet peppers to bring the heat. And yet, at the same time, it’s full of tropical Caribbean flavor that adds a zesty blend of tangy, hot and sweet.


For the Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 5 pounds, cut into 6 pieces

For the Jerk Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

Ingredient Tips

Scotch Bonnet Peppers
WARNING – Scotch bonnet peppers are incredibly hot. Most Scotch bonnet peppers have a heat rating of 80K–400K Scoville Heat Units (SHU) as compared with jalapeño peppers at 2,500 to 8,000. You can substitute Habanero chilis for Scotch bonnets. Habaneros are also very hot, rated 100K–350K SHU.
Jerk Seasoning
Jerk seasoning can be made with ingredients in your spice cabinet. You can also pick up pre-made jerk seasoning at the store.


Step 1 Of 7
Make several ¼-inch deep cuts into the chicken to allow the marinade to permeate the meat.
In a medium bowl, combine salt, sugar, Scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, allspice, scallions, paprika, garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, lime juice and olive oil.
Place chicken and jerk marinade in a zip top bag, seal the bag and mix together.
Marinate for 4 hours.
Preheat grill to 400°F.
Place marinated chicken on grates and grill for 10 to 12 minutes per side, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Remove from grill. Plate and serve with Caribbean rice and beans.
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