Jamaican Jerk Chicken from Smokey Joe’s

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 4 servings

Courtesy of Smokey Joe's on Negril Beach, this grilled chicken is hot, spicy and delicious.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

This recipe is adapted from a recipe from Smokey Joe’s on Negril Beach. Use it on chicken, pork, seafood or even tofu. For the best flavor, try using whole allspice berries and black peppercorns and crush them with the bottom of a heavy pot or in a coffee mill before adding to the processor. Use jalapeños in place of Scotch bonnets for less heat.


1 bunch green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
4 garlic cloves
1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into ½-inch discs
1 tablespoon (heaping) fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 whole cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 to 3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile peppers, stems and seed removed
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
Juice of 4 limes (6 tablespoons)
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken leg quarters or 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into quarters


  1. Place all ingredients except oil and chicken in a blender or food processor. With the processor running, slowly add a thin stream of oil until the mixture becomes thick. Save 1/2 cup of the marinade for drizzling over chicken during cooking.
  2. Place chicken and larger amount of marinade in a ziptop plastic bag and marinate at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare the grill.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on the grill, searing the first side (about 3 to 5 minutes). Turn, drizzle with reserved marinade, and sear the other side. Move chicken to an area of indirect heat (such as the grate above the grill or off to the side) and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Use a grill pan on the stovetop if preferred.

Recipe adapted by Chef Steve Petusevsky from a recipe from Smokey Joe’s on Negril Beach.



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