jerk chicken drumsticks

Jamaican Jerk Chicken – a well-seasoned grilled chicken with a Jamaican jerk marinade that has the perfect balance of heat, sweet and savory. You’ll want to make this all year round!

Give chicken a Caribbean twist with a marinade of punchy jerk seasoning. Jerk chicken is delicious when roasted and served with rice and peas, or barbecued as kebabs. The style of cooking uses a unique marinade of herbs and spices that is native to Jamaica.

So what actually is jerk and how do you make it in its most ubiquitous form: chicken?

Where does it come from?

The style of cooking is native Jamaica and is a national staple, however, it is now commonly used across the world. The flavourings can be applied to beef, pork, goat and vegetables, although jerk is typically synonymous with chicken.

The word “jerk” itself stems from the Spanish word charqui, which means dried strips of meat i.e. jerky.

How is jerk chicken different from BBQ chicken?

The major difference between jerk chicken and regular BBQ chicken is the seasoning which has a smoky spicy effect Whilst BBQ tends to be sweet and smoky. Moreover ; jerk seasoning incorporates savoury and sour flavours followed by a spicy peppery kick from the scotch bonnet peppers.

How do you make it?

the key ingredients for jerk flavouring are pimento (aka allspice), scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, garlic and ginger. To make your jerk chicken as flavoursome as possible, i suggest seasoning your meat in a marinade made up of the aforementioned ingredients overnight and then cooking it in the oven over a grill or over charcoal for that tasty jerk taste and smoky effect.

I am missing a couple of ingredients but do you think that would come between me and my fix? No way! Off to the grocery store for the other ingredients. My Jerk chicken has been marinating in the fridge for a couple of hours now and cannot wait to get it on the grill.

My Jerk chicken has been marinating in the fridge for a couple of hours now and cannot wait to get it on the grill.

Jerk Chicken Marinade

This recipe for jerk seasoning consists of the quintessential Jamaican ingredients such as scotch bonnet, thyme and allspice which are a must for jerk chicken. Some of the other spices are green onions, brown sugar, nutmeg, maggi and or bouillon cubes, cinnamon and of course- chicken.


14 pieces of Chicken Drumsticks

2 maggi cubes

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp pimento spice powder

1 tbsp cajun spice powder

2 tbsp Jerk seasoning paste

3 tbsp of vegetable oil





  • ▢½- medium onion coarsely chopped
  • ▢4 medium scallions green onions chopped
  • ▢2-3 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
  • ▢1½ tablespoons fresh ginger chopped
  • ▢8 Garlic cloves chopped
  • ▢1 Tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • ▢1 tablespoon white pepper
  • ▢2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ▢2 Tablespoons Honey
  • ▢2  Maggi Cubes
  • ▢1 Tablespoon bouillon powder 
  • ▢1 or more Scotch Bonnet Pepper adjust to taste

Another jerk recipe you can try Tender and Delicious Jerk Lamb oven recipe

Jerk seasoning spice http://jerk spice