Jamaican Jerk Chicken

There is nothing more Jamaican in flavor than jerk seasoning, a true staple in every Jamaican household. My friend Virginia Burke made jerk[ chicken for me in the traditional manner: in a fire pit over smoking pimento leaves. The taste of this dish will always bring back the memories of friendship and laughter of that afternoon in March. Kevin Brauch, The Thirsty Traveler]

Total Time:
1 hr 7 min
10 min
12 min
45 min

4 servings

  • 1 whole chicken, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of Jerk Rub seasoning, recipe follows
  • 8 to 12 pimento (allspice) leaves, for flavor, optional
  • Jamaican Jerk Rum Rub:
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 small jalapenos
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (olive or vegetable)
  • Splash flavorful rum

Rub the chicken with lime and salt. Rub jerk seasoning over chicken halves. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight for the best results.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium high.

If using, spread the pimento leaves on the grill. Barbecue should be on medium-low heat. Grill the chicken for about 45 minutes, turning often to optimize cooking and browning.

Alternatively, you may use your home oven, heated to 375 degrees F., but do not use pimento leaves.

Let chicken sit for 10 minutes before cutting into quarters.

Jamaican Jerk Rum Rub:

Put all ingredients into food processor. Mix on high for 15 pulses.

Yield: 1/2 to 2/3 cup

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    made this for my roommate, he said this was the best jerk chicken he has ever had. I used less cinnamon and nutmeg. He asked me to make it again tomorrow.
    I made this for my "small group" from our church. It was a huge hit. The chicken was so tender and flavorful. I baked it in the oven very slowly rather than the grill.
     Wow! Rave reviews from my friends!
    It was a wednesday night and I had a taste for something totally different like carribean. I didn't want to spend all night making a dish or paying a fortune for all the ingredients. I stumbled across this recipe and was totally blown away at how easy it was to make (with a few slight tweaks) and how good it tasted. If you have a food processor and a home gas grill you can knock this out from start to finish in an hour and it will knock your socks off. Definitely will make this again!!!!
    After reading the comments I decided to adjust the onions(as one person stated they were over powering)I used less, a few people felt the cinnamon & nutmeg were too strong so I used less, I did not have jalapenos so I improvised with a tsp of cayenne pepper and I added sliced sweet potatos to the same pan that I cooked the chicken in......my 19 year old daughter said dinner was slamming...kudos!
    This is the best jerk recipe. I use 4 scotch bonnet peppers instead of jalapeno. Its hot, but not too hot I also have used banana rum... it still tastes great. Whenever I make this, its hard to stop from eating to much...
    This recipe is dead on of what I had at one the the jerk shacks on the beach in St.Martin. Every time I make it, I'm on vacation and taken back to that beach. Nice stuff!
    Looking for a recipe that will bring me back to the taste of jamaica. This was not spicy and all we could taste was the nutmeg and cinnamon. I would not recommend.
    I had a really good time making the rub for this recipe. It smelled good, it's very hands on and I was excited to eat it.
     That being said, I put mine in the oven and it was cooked and moist, but the flavor wasn't very good. I recommend using a small onion as that was the only flavor screaming through the bites of chicken.
    i was grown in jamaica and eat a lot of jerk chicken and came to america at 13 years old i all ways like jerk chicken but of all jerk chicken this is the best
    Wow! Delicious....but spicy. Be Careful! Try it with some spanish yellow rice,coleslaw and some corn bread. Yum!
    As I wrote about Robin Miller?s receipt, do not use, but this one is EXCELLENT. I used it for 1/2lb flank steak so I had to adjust the ingredients amounts. So, not suggest if not a seasoned cook/chef. But, try it on any meat it is truly excellent. P.S. I used Serrano chillies instead of jalapenos. All depends on your heat level. Enjoy!!!
    I don't know how authentic this recipe is but it sure came out great! I recomend adding mor oil to the rub though. I had to play with the texture a bit. I also used scotch bonnet peppers instead of the jalepenos. Definately worth it. Awesome chicken!
    This recipe was easy, fast and delicious. If you like to grill for company or just a family dinner, this recipe is perfect. Bonus is the recipe for the jerk rum rub because you will have some left over to use on other meals for flavor. Whoever does not experience this delicious recipe is missing out bigtime!
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