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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Cooking Tips
4.3 13
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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... item not reviewed by moderator and published
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! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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 item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow! Delicious....but spicy. Be Careful! Try it with some spanish yellow rice,coleslaw and some corn bread. Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken