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Pieces of grilled Jerk Chicken on a platter

Jerk Chicken Recipe

Inspired by the flavors of Jamaican Jerk Chicken, this recipe has a marinade with citrus, savory, and heat and then grilled for the perfect texture.
Course Entree
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Keyword how to make jerk chicken, jerk chicken marinade, jerk chicken recipe, jerk chicken seasoning
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 361kcal
Cost $20.00


  • 1 gallon plastic bag


  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 4 chicken drumsticks, skin on

Jerk Marinade

  • ½ cup red onion, roughly chopped (about ½ an onion)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about one large navel orange)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 whole green onions or scallions, roots slightly trimmed
  • 4 whole habanero peppers, stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons jerk seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 whole lime, freshly squeezed


To Marinate the Chicken

  • In a blender, combine all ingredients. Pulse until the marinade is a thin liquidt texture. If you want to reserve any for a dipping sauce, reserve ¼ cup now and set aside.
  • In a gallon size plastic bag, add chicken and then pour in marinade. Gently remove any excess air and seal the bag. Using your hands move the chicken around to incorporate the chicken and flavor. Marinate for at least 24 hours in a refrigerator.

Grill Chicken

  • Prepare your grill for two-zone grilling using lump charcoal. Target 450 - 500 degrees Fahrenheit (F) as the ambient grill temperature.
  • When the grill is at temperature, remove the chicken from the marinade and place over direct heat. You should hear a good sear when the chicken hits the grill grates. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the chicken direct for 3 – 5 minutes or until you see nice char marks develop.
  • Then flip and grill again over direct heat for another 3 minutes until nice char marks form.
  • Move the chicken to indirect heat and then close the lid. Continue cooking for an additional 12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 – 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicken legs can handle the higher finishing temperature than a breast.
  • Remove from heat, and let rest 10 minutes. Then enjoy.



Chicken Breasts: If you are using this process for chicken breasts, follow the same process, but cook the chicken until the internal temperature is 160 – 163 degrees Fahrenheit. The carry over cooking will take it over 165 degrees Fahrenheit while it rests.


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2166IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3mg