Traveling the world through cuisine

Jerk Chicken

Jamaica's most famous culinary export to the world. Tender chicken marinated in a large array of seasonings and then barbecued to perfection, creating a spicy kick that will bring tears to your eyes.

Jerk Chicken


  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-3 jalapeños
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of allspice
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 whole chicken, or 4-6 chicken breasts


  1. Prep the chicken by cutting slashes into the meat. If using a whole chicken, then cut the chicken into four quarters.
  2. Place all the other ingredients into a food processor, and run until a purée forms.
  3. In a sealable container or bag, put the chicken inside and then pour the marinade on top.
  4. Seal the container and set it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Overnight is better.
  5. Fire up your grill or heat up your oven to 425°.
  6. Hold each piece of chicken with tongs and let the excess marinate drip off before placing on the grill or pan.
  7. Cook the chicken fully before serving.

Quick Notes

Be extremely careful when preparing the marinade. The acids of the onion and jalapeños can wreak havoc on your eyes. I learned this the hard way, thus ending up in the shower washing my burning eyes out.

Please see variations on how to raise or lower the level of spiciness in this dish.


If you would not like this chicken to be too spicy, then slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove the seeds before placing into the food processor. Use no more than two in this case. If you prefer spicy, then leave the seeds in, and double up on the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

This marinade will also work wonderfully on pork.

Serving Suggestions

Jerk chicken is best served with rice and peas, as the side dish will act as a palette cleanser. Other options include fried plantains, fresh greens or fruit, or even Jamaican corn fritters known as festival.

Tags: Jamaican, jerk, chicken, spicy

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