How to Make Jamaican Jerk Chicken at Home

Earlier this year, I visited Secrets Wild Orchid on the stunning island of Jamaica.

While there, I swam in the ocean, enjoyed a catamaran ride, took a lot of naps on the beach and drank one-too-many Mango Tangos — but one of my favorite perks was the Jerk Chicken cart.

On the daily, a man would walk around the resort with a cart sporting freshly-cooked Jerk Chicken… mmm my mouth is watering.

This is Jamaica. #redstripe #jerkchicken #poolside @teen41386

A post shared by Corey H (@hineykinz) on


To say I ate 10 pounds of the stuff throughout may vacation may be an understatement.

So, when I got home, I was obviously having withdrawals. I immediately craved the tender, juicy meat with its spicy, slightly sweet sauce — so, I found a recipe!

And guys — it’s so good.

How to Make Jamaican Jerk Chicken at Home:

  • 2 tablespoons ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon ground rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1tablespoons sea salt
  • 1teaspoons onion powder
  • 1teaspoons black pepper
  • 1teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons habanero pepper, ground
  • 12 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1cup sugar
  • 3 pounds chicken, cuts of your choice
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1cup olive oil
  1. Combine spices, seasonings, sugar and bay leaves in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice and olive oil.
  3. Rub chicken pieces with the oil mixture.
  4. Coat chicken with spice mixture. The goal is to get  all of the mixture to stick to the meat, so go crazy with it. Note: this is not a rub, so don’t apply it in a rubbing fashion.
  5. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
  6. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the fridge and let it reach room temperature.
  7. Heat up your grill on high heat.
  8. Grill the chicken over direct fire. Note: don’t worry about the black bits — they’re supposed to be there.
  9. Once the chicken is seared, move it to an more indirectly heated area of the grill, and cook to 165 degrees internal temperature.
  10. Quickly sear the chicken once again before removing it from the grill.
  11. Enjoy! Note: serve with lots of napkins.

So, ready to head to Jamaica and try some authentic Jerk Chicken? We can help!

Image Source: Instagram, Bon Appetit

One thought on “How to Make Jamaican Jerk Chicken at Home

  1. lori Reply

    I too had the pleasure of being in a resort that served the jerk chicken, and i too ate way more than my body weight could handle, I went one step further i purchased the jerk chicken dry rub and the sauce at the resort , only to have it thrown away by customs in the jamaica airport prior to loading. Advice if you purchase this it has to be put in your luggage and checked in not a carry on. So i waited and purchased it again at the duty free shop at the airport, and got stopped again in my home town customs . So for future reference check your baggage. But I will use every last seasoning i purchased to make my jerk chicken for all the problems i went through. lol

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