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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipes

jerk chicken

The Jamaican Maroons created the jerk method. They developed a blend of herbs, spices, hot peppers and pimento leaves which they used when cooking the wild pigs (or wild hogs, as it is called in Jamaica) they captured in the Blue Mountains. The spicy pork dish was slow-cooked on the barbacoa of heated pimento wood.Nowadays ‘jerk’ is applied to a type of seasoning or marinade for meats and is one of Jamaica’s most celebrated contributions to global cuisine.

.jerk chicken


3 lbs. chicken, cut into halves, quarters or leg-thigh combination, skinned and  any visible fat removed, washed with vinegar and water solution or lime and water solution (1 tbsp. white vinegar or the juice of 1 lime mixed with 4 cups of water). Drain or pat dry. This is one of my methods of Jamaican jerk chicken.

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp. Maggi season-up chicken flavour

1 tbsp. Maggi season up all-purpose

1 tbsp. ground black pepper

Pimento leaves to spread on grill (for flavour, optional)

1 1/2 tsp. paprika

Jerk rubbings ingredients


6 stalk scallion

1 tsp. grated nutmeg

3 cinnamon leaves or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

6 pimento seeds (allspice) pounded

Piece of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp. white vinegar

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Scotch bonnet peppers (deseeded) or any other chillies

*Jamaicans do not normally used oil in marinades*. You can use Jamaican commercial jerk seasoning

Method to make jerk rub

In a container or food processor, add all the ingredients and mix to a paste, cover and set aside.

Method to season chicken.


Season the chicken in a large bowl, add the Maggi chicken and all-purpose seasoning, black pepper, paprika and salt. Use hand to rub-on seasonings, rub some of the jerk rubbings on the chicken, cover and marinate for 2 hrs. in the refrigerator.


Place pimento leaves on a preheated grill, (medium-low heat)  then place chicken on the pimento leaves (pimento leaves are optional) Chicken should be at least 6-inches from the heat.


Cook chicken for 40 minutes; turning every 10 minutes. When both sides of the chicken becomes brown and fork can be inserted with ease, remove chicken from grill.

Use remaining  jerk rubbings to make jerk sauce

Put the jerk rubbings into a small pot with 1 cup of water. Put the pot on high heat, adjust the taste by adding salt if needed. Cook sauce until thicken. Remove from heat and cool properly. Bottle sauce and kept in the refrigerator for 3 days.


Cut jerked chicken into serving size put a little of the jerked sauce on the jerked chicken, enjoy with slices of bread.


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