How to make Jamaica Jerk Chicken – Uncle Wayne Grills
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How to make Jamaica Jerk Chicken

By Delbert James February 09, 2021 0 comments

Jerk Chicken is a style of cooking native to Jamaica. Some people believe the term comes from the word charqui, or charque which is a form of jerky common in South America. It is a Spanish term for jerked or dried meat, which eventually became jerky in English; others claim it’s related to the constant turning or jerking of the meat to load it with the spice blend and cook it thoroughly. Ok don’t worry this Jerk Chicken is easy to make and it has an exquisite taste and it is not too spicy for the less adventurous eaters.

"The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It's doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile." "If you're afraid of butter, use cream." "Cooking well doesn't mean cooking fancy." - Julia Child


As you can see from the ingredients — like soy sauce, allspice, nutmeg, Asian 5-spice powder, and a Scotch bonnet pepper — Jerk chicken is a perfect example of Caribbean cooking, which is a unique blend of African, European, Indian, and Asian flavors.

Let’s Grill It!


Servings: 6


  • 1small yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • scallions, quartered
  • 1Scotch bonnet or Habanero chili pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoonAsian five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoonallspice
  • 1/2 teaspoondried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoonground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/4 cupsoy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/2 tablespoonvegetable oil
  • 3 to 3 &1/2 lbs.bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, or breasts
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Cane sugar


  1. Make the marinade: In the food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients except for the chicken. Process until the vegetables are finely puréed and the mixture is relatively smooth (the texture will be slightly gritty).
  2. Place the chicken and the jerk marinade in a large Ziploc bag; before closing, squeeze the air out and seal tightly. Mix together the chicken around to coat the marinade evenly. Place the bag in a bowl (something that will not leak) and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. I like to leave mine in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. When you take the chicken out of the refrigerator make sure it comes to temperature before grilling.
  3. Preheat the grill to approximately 400°F.
  4. Lightly dip a small piece of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using a kitchen utility tongs, carefully rub over the grill surface several times until glossy and coated.
  5. Place the marinated chicken on the grill skin side down, and grill for 10-15 minutes per side, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  6. Remove the chicken from the grill and serve immediately Black beans salad with corn, avocado, and lime vinaigrette. Perfect with Rice and Peas.


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