Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Hot Off The Grill

The marinade for Jerk chicken may sound a bit exotic and may seem like it’s going to be too spicy, but I promise you, the result is not too spicy, but simply delicious!

Your guests will rave about this chicken!


Ingredients for the marinade:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, stems removed (you can substitute jalapeno peppers if you are a complete fraidy cat)
  • 1 bunch green onions, cleaned and rough chopped

Toss everything into a blender or food processor and whirl it up.  This marinade can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to one week.

To make the chicken:

Marinate the chicken in a zip bag for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.  I like to use legs and thighs for this recipe, but you can use the whole chicken or chicken breasts if you prefer.  Your grilling method will be different depending on which pieces you use.

You are going to use the “indirect”  cooking method.  Which is to turn one of the burners off and put the chicken over the OFF burner.  The other burner will be turned to medium low.   However, to begin with, heat both burners on high until the grill is very hot.

Remove the chicken from the zip bag and shake off any excess marinade.  Discard the marinade.  Lay the chicken skin side down on the hot grill over just one burner.  Immediately turn the burner to OFF that is under the chicken.  Turn the other burner to medium low and close the grill lid.  Allow chicken to cook for about 15 minutes, then turn chicken over and close the lid.  Make sure the chicken remains over the OFF burner for the entire cooking process.

Allow chicken to continue to cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is and what size the chicken pieces are.  Check for doneness after 30 minutes, but you will probably need at least 10 more minutes.

If you are grilling chicken breasts, use the same method as above, but after turning the chicken, it should only need 15 to 20 minutes of additional cooking.  Just make sure the juices run clear before removing from the grill.

Let the chicken rest under tin foil for 10 minutes after removing from the grill, then serve it up to your guests delight!


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