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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

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This Jamaican Jerk Chicken is packed full of flavor and tons of heat. If you are in the mood for something different you need to give this dish a try. Welcome to flavor town!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken by Nutmeg Nanny

I eat a lot of chicken. Not because I think it’s super healthy or anything, but mostly because I actually like chicken. However, the one thing I hate is boring chicken. Chicken that lacks spice or flavor – no thank you. We ate a lot of venison, beef and pork growing up but not a lot of chicken. Occasionally I could talk my dad into making fried chicken or BBQ grilled chicken but that was about it.

I’m not really sure why parents hated the other other white meat but it is what it is. 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken by Nutmeg Nanny

Now that I’m grown up you can find me making chicken at least 3 times a week and always my Honey Spiced Glazed Chicken at least once a week. It’s spicy and sweet, the perfect balance of flavors. Sometimes I make it extra spicy by throwing in even more chipotle chile powder. Yeah, I’m dangerous like that.

When I made this Jamaican jerk chicken I was expecting a good amount of flavor and heat but I wasn’t expecting to love it AS MUCH as I did. It was bursting full of flavor and it was nice and spicy. If you do not like heat simply bump down the pepper amount. You will still be left with flavorful chicken that will rock your socks.

I threw together this recipe after reading a ton of different types of traditional jerk recipes. I was a little thrown off by the combination of allspice/cinnamon and heat but I gave it a shot. Turns out cinnamon is pretty kick ass in savory dishes. Traditional recipes also call for scotch bonnet peppers but that is not something I can easily get my hands on. So that is why I subbed in habanero peppers instead.

Now, I have to admit that I mostly wanted to make Jamaican jerk chicken because they talk about it all the time on Psych. Man I love that show. Do you ever love a show so much that you wish the characters were real? I know that sound borderline stalker, but seriously, I would so love for Shawn and Gus to be real. You know you all agree.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken by Nutmeg Nanny

Looking for more delicious chicken recipes? Try my Sheet Pan Garlic Lemon Chicken and MushroomsApple Butter Honey Mustard Chicken WingsSheet Pan Moroccan Chicken and PotatoesSlow Cooker Honey Soy Sriracha Pulled Chicken or my Honey Spiced Glazed Chicken


Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This Jamaican Jerk Chicken is packed full of flavor and tons of heat. If you are in the mood for something different you need to give this dish a try.

Yield: 2-4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes + marinade time

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes + marinade time


  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 3 green onions, cut in half
  • 1-2 Habenero peppers, seeded
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 6 chicken drumsticks (legs)


In a blender or food processor add yellow onion, green onions, Habenero pepper, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, thyme, allspice, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander and salt.

Blend just until combined and the onion has broken down. Drizzle in enough olive oil to make a thick marinade.

Pour marinade into a large 1 gallon ziptop bag and add chicken. Secure the top of the bag and move the chicken around in the bag to make sure it's completely coated.

Add bag to a bowl or dish and marinade over night or at least 4 hours. {Keeping the bag in a bowl/dish helps keep your fridge clean in case there is a leak in the bag}

Once the chicken is done marinading heat your grill to medium heat. Since you are using bone-in chicken you need to cook it long enough to fully cook in the inside meat without burning the outside.

Grill for about 30-35 minutes until the outside of the chicken is crisp and the inside is fully cooked.

Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro and wedge of lime if desired.

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