Jamaican jerk chicken is a delicious and popular dish that brings the flavors of the Caribbean straight to your table. This authentic and easy recipe uses a homemade jerk marinade to give the chicken a fiery taste that’s sure to please.

Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal, jerk chicken will have your taste buds dancing with delight. So, let’s dive into this mouthwatering recipe and learn how to make Jamaican jerk chicken at home.

Authentic Jamaican Recipe for Easy Homemade Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Jerk chicken is deeply rooted in Jamaican cuisine. The term “jerk” refers to the spicy dry rub or marinade applied to the chicken before it’s cooked, not the cooking method itself. The homemade jerk marinade is a key element to achieving the traditional fiery taste that jerk chicken is famous for. Let’s get started on making this amazing dish!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide

Follow this step-by-step recipe to make a homemade jerk marinade and create delicious, traditional, and spicy Jamaican jerk chicken.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes plus 6 hours to marinate chicken

Cook Time: 45 Minutes


  • 1 whole chicken, sectioned and with each piece containing a few ½-inch deep slashes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 seeded and finely chopped habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper for a very hot flavor or a jalapeno pepper for a milder spice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Cooking Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken, in a food processor and blend into a smooth puree to form the jerk marinade.
  2. Place the sectioned chicken in a large bowl and cover each piece completely with the marinade.
  3. Cover the chicken and marinate for at least six hours. For best results, leave it to marinate overnight.
  4. When the chicken is fully marinated, remove it and grill it over a hot grill until it is fully cooked. If you don’t have a grill, you can also bake the chicken in a 425°F oven until it is fully cooked.

Serving Suggestions: 

To complete your perfect meal, pair this jerk chicken with a cold, crunchy coleslaw or salad and Jamaican rice. Make sure to have plenty of cold drinks on hand, as this recipe is spicy! For a less spicy version, leave the hot pepper out altogether. This marinade can also be used with pork if desired.

Conclusion: The Unbeatable Appeal of Jerk Chicken

There are many reasons why jerk chicken is so well-loved. First, it is incredibly flavorful and spicy. The spices used in jerk chicken give it a unique flavor that sets it apart from other dishes.

Additionally, jerk chicken is a healthy choice. It is low in fat and calories, making it an ideal meal for those looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Finally, jerk chicken is very easy to prepare. It can be made in just a few minutes using simple ingredients, making it perfect for a quick weeknight meal or a flavorful dish to share with friends and family.

With its unique blend of spices and irresistible flavors, Jamaican jerk chicken is a dish that will keep your taste buds craving for more. The homemade jerk marinade ensures you’ll achieve that authentic Caribbean taste, and following this easy recipe will have you enjoying this delicious meal in no time.

So, gather your ingredients, fire up the grill, and treat yourself and your loved ones to an unforgettable culinary experience with this easy traditional Jamaican jerk chicken recipe. Bon appétit!