Tommy D Eats

Caribbean Ginger Jerk Chicken

Recipe by
2 hours
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 1 hour 45 mins | Servings: 4 servings


Experience the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean with our tantalizing jerk chicken recipe. Succulent chicken pieces are marinated in a blend of zesty lime juice, soy sauce, and fragrant island spices like allspice, thyme, and cinnamon. The marinade, featuring the perfect balance of heat and sweetness, gets its fiery kick from Scotch bonnet peppers, while the addition of grated ginger adds an extra layer of aromatic deliciousness.

Grilled to perfection, our jerk chicken boasts a mouthwatering charred exterior, locking in the juiciness and infusing each bite with a burst of smoky flavor. The result is a culinary masterpiece that combines the warmth of spices with the tanginess of lime and the succulence of chicken.

Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or craving a taste of the tropics, our jerk chicken recipe is sure to transport your taste buds to a sun-soaked paradise. Serve it alongside traditional Caribbean sides like rice and peas or grilled plantains for an authentic island feast that will leave you yearning for more. Get ready to savor the irresistible flavors of this Caribbean classic and bring a taste of the tropics to your table.


  • 3-4 pounds (1.8 kg) of chicken pieces (legs, thighs, or a combination)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallions, roughly chopped, ends trimmed
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 Scotch bonnet peppers (or habanero peppers), seeds and ribs removed (adjust according to your spice tolerance)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped ginger (about 1-inch piece)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. In a blender or food processor, combine soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil, scallions, garlic, peppers, brown sugar, allspice, thyme, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, salt, and grated ginger. Blend until you have a smooth marinade.
  2. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Pour the jerk marinade over the chicken, making sure each piece is coated. If using a plastic bag, seal it and massage the marinade into the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight for the best flavor.
  3. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If using a charcoal grill, set up a two-zone fire by banking the coals on one side of the grill for direct heat and leaving the other side empty for indirect heat.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let any excess marinade drip off. Reserve the marinade for basting.
  5. Place the chicken on the grill, skin-side down if using pieces with skin. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely charred.
  6. If using a charcoal grill, you can move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill after searing to finish cooking with indirect heat. This helps prevent the chicken from burning while ensuring it’s fully cooked.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve hot with your favorite side dishes like rice and peas, grilled vegetables, or a fresh salad.

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