Flavor-Packed Jerk Chicken Recipe

One thing is for sure — this recipe for jerk chicken does not skimp out on the flavor. According to The Kitchen Project, jerk chicken originated in Jamaica, and the name refers to the style in which chicken — or any meat for that matter — is seasoned and cooked. The jerk marinade is loaded up with spices, peppers, and even a little hit of sugar, as evident in this recipe. The result is some truly delicious chicken, and you can count on it having an abundance of both flavor and texture.

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes gives her take on this wonderful recipe that will leave you licking your fingers and asking for more. "I love the punchy flavors and spicy kick of jerk chicken! It's so easy to prep the night before too so all you need to do is pop it in the oven," Brookes shares. "It would also be great for a barbecue/party where you could cook the chicken on the grill." Any occasion is a good one for this jerk chicken! 

Gather the ingredients for this flavor-packed jerk chicken

Every recipe begins with a trip to the store! For this dish, you will need bone-in chicken thighs, scotch bonnet chilis, scallions, garlic cloves, ginger, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, dry thyme, lime, soy sauce, black pepper, and salt.

Once you have those items, you can make this flavor-packed jerk chicken.

Pat the chicken thighs dry

To start things off, take the chicken thighs out of their packaging and use kitchen towels to pat them dry, removing the excess moisture. Then, transfer the chicken thighs to a plate.

When asked if you could sub chicken breasts for chicken thighs, Brookes says, "You could if preferred, but thighs or drumsticks with skin on do tend to work better as they go a little crisper in the oven." 

Add the marinade ingredients to a food processor

Grab your food processor and load up all the jerk marinade ingredients. This includes the scotch bonnet chilis, scallions, garlic cloves, ginger, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg, dry thyme, lime, soy sauce, black pepper, and salt. Apple cider vinegar is the secret ingredient! "Apple cider vinegar adds a slightly sweeter, fruitier note to the marinade," Brookes notes. Continue blending everything together until the mixture is nice and smooth.

Marinade the chicken

Remove the marinade from the food processor and brush it over the chicken thighs using a kitchen brush or something similar. Be sure to coat well and give each chicken thigh a generous amount of the marinade. Brookes describes the taste of the marinade as "spicy and savory with a little tang from the lime and vinegar, saltiness from the soy sauce and warm from the allspice." 

Cover the plate with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge overnight. This allows plenty of time for the marinade to soak into the meat.

Roast the chicken and serve

Remove the chicken from the fridge and place it on a large roasting tray. Preheat your range to 400 F, and pop the chicken in the oven once it hits that temperature. It will take about 45 minutes for the chicken to bake.

Once you remove it from the oven, go ahead and plate and serve as you please. "Jerk chicken is traditionally served with rice and peas, but you could also have this with potatoes, crusty bread, or salad," Brookes notes. 

Flavor-Packed Jerk Chicken Recipe
5 from 50 ratings
This flavor-packed jerk chicken recipe definitely lives up to its name.
Prep Time
Cook Time
jerk chicken on plate
Total time: 1 hour
  • 2 pounds skin on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 3 scotch bonnet chilis, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  1. Pat the chicken thighs dry with kitchen towels and place them on a plate.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blitz until smooth, creating the jerk marinade.
  3. Brush the marinade generously over the chicken thighs. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Transfer the chicken thighs to a large roasting tray and preheat the oven to 400 F.
  5. Bake the chicken for 45 minutes.
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