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grilled chicken thighs on white plate
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5 from 7 votes

How to Make Jerk Chicken

This is a knock your lips off delicious jerk chicken recipe that will be in your "fix for company" file and your "fix every week" file from now on.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Make Jerk Chicken, jerk chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Loaves and Dishes
Cost: $10


  • Stove or Grill
  • bowl
  • food processor
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • Frying Pan


  • 1 nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbsp. whole coriander
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 6 allspice pods
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers
  • 10 sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • ½ Cup lime juice
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • ½ Cup Raw sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 pieces of chicken. If doing all wings - 16 whole wings or 32 wingettes


  • Combine nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, allspice, black peppercorns in a frying pan and heat on medium high until toasted and fragrant. 3-4 minutes.
  • Place all of the ingredients listed in step one in a spice grinder and grind until powder. Set aside.
  • Combine scallions, onion, peppers, thyme, garlic in a blender or food processor and puree. Add lime juice, soy sauce and raw sugar and pulse until well combined. Add spices from step 2 and pulse till combined. If you do not want your chicken to be so spicy – remove seeds and ribs from pepper. You may use a different type of hot pepper if Scotch Bonnets are not available.
  • Score the chicken in a hash mark design on both sides. Salt and Pepper the chicken to taste. Place in a large bowl. Pour mixture from previous step over the top and make sure all pieces are well coated. Place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and place into refrigerator over night or for 3+ hours.
  • After marinating overnight, preheat oven to 350. Place in a 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
  • Finish the chicken on the grill on medium heat until juices run clear
  • Allow to rest x 10 minutes before serving.



  • This recipe really is best if you prepare the marinade the night before and allow the chicken to marinate overnight. 
  • You'll be so happy with yourself if you toast the spices and then grind them yourself.  You can use a coffee grinder to grind the spices.  
  • I didn't include photos of the marinade over the chicken because it is a greeny brown color and really isn't appetizing at all. 
  • Starting these in the oven and then finishing on the grill gives the skin the PERFECT level of crunch and ensures that they inside of the chicken gets done.
  • I recommend using this recipe with chicken thighs as these are the most flavorful, however, it will work perfectly fine with chicken breasts bone in or out either one or even wings and drumsticks.  Just adjust your cooking time. 
PRO TIP:  If you don't have a grinder, substitute like amounts of the ground spice but do not attempt to toast those.  The result will be a slightly less intense seasoning flavor and you will lose the smoky flavor from the toasted spices.  Don't let that hold you back from making this dish though, because it is still one of the best on this site! 


Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 3252mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 211IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3mg