Loading Video...
Recipe courtesy of Miss Lily's

Miss Lily's Jerk Chicken

Save Recipe
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 days 4 hr 45 min (includes brining and marinating times)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Share This Recipe


1 whole chicken, split into 2 halves

8 cups Brine, recipe follows

1/2 cup Jerk Marinade, recipe follows

Oil, for oiling grill grates

2 cups Jerk BBQ Sauce, recipe follows


1/2 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar

Jerk Marinade:

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon kosher salt

20 whole allspice berries

6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems and stems discarded

2 bunches green onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 Scotch bonnet chiles

1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

Jerk BBQ Sauce:

1/2 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup Jerk Marinade, recipe precedes

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/8 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

2 teaspoons tamarind puree

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Juice of 1 lime


Special equipment:
latex or vinyl gloves
  1. Place the chicken in a large bowl or baking dish and pour the brine over it, making sure the chicken is fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Rinse the chicken well. Wearing latex or vinyl gloves (Scotch bonnet chiles can remain on the skin for 24 hours!) rub the Jerk Marinade all over the chicken. Place in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Preheat a grill for cooking over indirect medium heat. Lightly oil the grill grates, then place the chicken skin-side down over indirect heat. Grill, uncovered, turning the chicken every 5 to 6 minutes, until the juices run clear when the thighs are pricked with a fork, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to distribute equally.
  5. Cut the chicken into quarters, separating the leg portions from the breast portions, and serve with Jerk BBQ Sauce.


Yield: 8 cups
  1. Stir the salt and light brown sugar into 8 cups water in a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring to ensure that the salt and sugar completely dissolve. Let cool to 38 degrees F before using.

Jerk Marinade:

Yield: 1 cup
  1. Put the soy sauce, oil, salt, allspice, thyme, green onions, garlic, chiles, ginger and onion in a food processor and puree until a smooth paste is formed, adding more oil if necessary. Set aside.

Jerk BBQ Sauce:

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
  1. In a nonreactive heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the tomato paste and 2 cups water and heat slowly, stirring, until well incorporated. Add in the Jerk Marinade, molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder, tamarind, celery salt, cumin, pepper, liquid smoke, thyme and lime juice. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reached the desired consistency. Remove from the heat and let cool.