Jerk Chicken So Good You’ll Need A Fire Extinguisher (Recipe Inside!)

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Jerk chicken is a Jamaican dish that has taken the world by storm. The smoky, spicy, and flavorful chicken is a true crowd-pleaser, perfect for a backyard barbecue or a casual weeknight dinner. The key to jerk chicken lies in the marinade, a fiery blend of Caribbean spices and aromatics that infuses the chicken with an unforgettable taste.

This recipe is inspired by the many delicious jerk chicken variations found on Reddit, offering a fantastic starting point for your own jerk chicken adventure.

Homemade] Jerk chicken! : r/food
Homemade] Jerk chicken! : r/food


For the Jerk Marinade:

6 large chicken legs (bone-in, skin-on)

  • 2 heaping tablespoons Walkerswood jerk seasoning (or your favorite jerk seasoning blend)
  • 2 stalks scallions, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1-2 habanero peppers or scotch bonnet peppers, minced (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • Splash of water (optional, if the marinade is too thick)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Himalayan salt (to taste)

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate the Chicken:

  • Using a sharp knife, make a few slits in the skin side of each chicken leg. This helps the marinade penetrate the meat for maximum flavor.
  • In a large bowl, combine the jerk seasoning, chopped scallions, thyme, peppers, ginger, garlic, olive oil, white vinegar, and lime juice. Mix well to create a fragrant paste.
  • Add the chicken legs to the marinade and toss to coat them thoroughly. Ensure the marinade gets into all the nooks and crannies of the chicken, including the slits in the skin.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 18 hours, ideally 24 hours. The longer the chicken marinates, the deeper the jerk flavors will be. Flip the chicken pieces occasionally for even marinating.

  • 2. Cook the Chicken:

  • Preheat your oven or grill to 325°F (163°C). If using a grill, aim for indirect heat.
  • Remove the chicken legs from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade.
  • Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet or grill pan, leaving space between each piece for even cooking.
  • Cook the chicken for 40-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) using a meat thermometer. If using a grill, you can flip the chicken halfway through cooking for more even browning.
  • In the last 10 minutes of cooking, brush the chicken with fresh lime juice and sprinkle with a touch of Himalayan salt for an extra flavor boost.

  • 3. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Once cooked through, remove the chicken from the oven or grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful chicken.
  • Serve your jerk chicken with your favorite sides, such as rice and peas, grilled vegetables, or fried plantains.

  • Nutrition Facts:

    Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown based on the ingredients listed. The actual values may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and portion size.

    Calories: Per serving (one chicken leg) – approximately 400-500 calories

  • Protein: Around 40 grams
  • Fat: Around 20-30 grams (depending on the fat content of the chicken skin)
  • Carbohydrates: Around 10 grams (depending on the type of jerk seasoning used)
  • Sodium: Varies depending on the amount of salt used

  • Conclusion

    Jerk chicken is a delicious and versatile dish that is sure to impress your taste buds. With its smoky, spicy, and flavorful profile, it’s a true explosion of Caribbean cuisine. This recipe provides a fantastic base for exploring your own jerk chicken variations. Feel free to adjust the spice level, add different vegetables to the marinade, or even try grilling the chicken for a smoky twist. No matter how you choose to prepare it, jerk chicken is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.


    1. What can I substitute for the scotch bonnet peppers?

    If you can’t handle the heat of scotch bonnet peppers, you can substitute them with habanero peppers (slightly less spicy) or jalapeño peppers (milder). You can also use a combination of these peppers to create your desired spice level.

    2. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe?