Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

Are you ready for some heat in your kitchen? Because this jerk chicken is no joke. Well of course you can make it less spicy by only using 1 scotch bonnet instead of 2. I’ve made it both ways and, in our household, the spicier version was the preferred one. However, I can totally understand wanting a milder taste.

So, while making the marinade you must remember that it will mellow out once used on a chicken and cooked in the oven or grill. If you’re tasting it on its own you will be hit by all the flavors and might feel the need add more ingredients to lower the intensity, but it will mellow out once cooked. The other thing is that once the chicken has marinated overnight you remove any excess marinade and save that to make a sauce. The chicken won’t be drenched in it, and if you want more heat you can add more of the sauce to the chicken while eating.

One of the main ingredients in this jerk marinade is the all spice. I just remember growing up that my mom would use all spice in a lot of her dishes and as a child I always thought this was literally a mixture of all spices. Later in life I realized that it’s one dried berry that actually tastes like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper.

Another key ingredient is the scotch bonnet, also a pepper that is widely used in the Caribbean. In Curaçao we would actually cut a tiny piece and stir it into our soup and quickly remove it. Just to get that hint of spice. I think people in Curaçao even though they like their spices, have a certain respect when it comes to scotch bonnet, so that’s why a tiny bit goes a long way. I get mine at a small shop or at the market. When prepping the scotch bonnet and removing seeds I would definitely recommend using gloves. 

With all these spices I wanted something refreshing on the side and the coriander slaw with tostones are the perfect side dish for this jerk chicken. Combining these 3 dishes together creates a pretty well-balanced meal when it comes to flavors and they all complement each other.

Jerk Chicken

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Marinating8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Kyara


  • 8 pcs chicken thighs with bone
  • 1 lime


  • 1-2 scotch bonnet seeds removed and cut into small pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 green onions sliced
  • 2 tbsp all spice
  • ½ cup coconut aminos
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • In a blender mix all ingredients except chicken thighs into a creamy marinade.
  • Clean your chicken thighs if necessary by removing any excess fat around the edges and drizzle juice of 1 lime over the skin.
  • Place thighs in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over them. Close and shake to spread marinade all over the chicken pieces.
  • Place in the fridge and allow to marinate overnight.
  • Take chicken out 1 hour before cooking to get to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C to convection grill setting.
  • Remove any excess marinade from the chicken thighs and place on a roasting tray, skin facing down.
  • Place in the oven for 25 min.
  • After 25 minutes flip chicken pieces and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes for the skin to crisp up.
  • In a pan pour excess marinade and any liquid from the roasting tray together. If you don’t have much liquid, you can simply add a bit of water to make it a bit thinner. Allow to get to a boil and lower heat to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Place sauce in a separate bowl for anyone wanting some extra heat.