Jerk chicken is easier to make than people realize. It is essentially just grilled chicken with a deliciously spiced and balanced marinade that leaves the chicken seasoned and perfectly juicy after grilling. This recipe is very simple, just blend the ingredients to make the marinade, pour it over the chicken, give the marinade some time for flavours to penetrate the meat and grill to perfection. Jerk marinade recipes vary from person to person and thankfully there is a lot of room for error and tweaking to individual taste preferences. The beautiful colour comes from the dark marinade as well as the charring achieved by the cooking process. Keep this recipe in your back pocket the next time you decide to make barbecued chicken. This will surely be a crowd-pleaser.
If you give this recipe a shot, make sure to post up your creation on Instagram and tag @tastetoronto and @travelandmunchies!
Grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken 8 Steps
In a blender, combine all ingredients except the Scotch bonnets and blend. Add Scotch bonnet one at a time until desired spiciness is achieved. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, adding more dried spices or salt if needed.
Pour over chicken and coat thoroughly .
Let marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge or up to 48 hours.
Remove chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
Preheat grill. Lay the chicken legs skin side down on the hottest side of the grill in order to sear the skin side well. Grill for 5-10 minutes, reduce the temp to low or medium-low (between 250 degrees Fahrenheit and 275 degrees Fahrenheit, no more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit). Cover the grill and cook for 20-40 minutes, turning occasionally.
Cook time will depend on your grill set-up, the size of your chicken legs and how cold your chicken legs are to start with! If you are grilling smaller pieces of chicken on a charcoal grill, they may be done much earlier. The goal is to maintain a low enough grill temperature so that the chicken cooks low and slow.
The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature of the chicken pieces are 160 degrees Fahrenheit for breasts and 170 degrees Fahrenheit for thighs, when tested with a meat thermometer. You can also check by cutting into the middle of the thickest piece, if the juices run clear, the chicken is done.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve.