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Follow this easy-to-follow instructions for making Classic Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

Perhaps the most famous element of Caribbean Cuisine, Jerk is a style of preparing food native to Jamaica in which the meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican Jerk Spice. Jerk cooking and seasoning has followed the Caribbean diaspora throughout the world.  Serve with black beans, rice, and friend plantains.

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Classic Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Follow this easy-to-follow instructions for making Classic Jamaican Jerk Chicken.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican, Caribbean


  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries coarsely ground
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 3.5 pound chicken legs and thighs
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium scallions chopped
  • 2 Scotch bonnet chilies chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder


  1. In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chilies, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, pepper, thyme, nutmeg and salt; process to a coarse paste.
  2. While the food processor is on, add the soy sauce and oil steadily.
  3. Pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Bring the chicken to room temperature before proceeding.
  5. Light a grill. Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire, turning occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.

Recipe Notes

TIP: For a smokier flavor, cover the grill while cooking.

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