Jerk Chicken in a bowl, ready to serve

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

This easy Jamaican jerk chicken recipe is spicy and loaded with flavor. It's a blast of the Caribbean, destined to become your favorite weeknight meal.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken legs, jamaican, recipe, spicy
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 chicken legs
Calories 360 kcal


  • 6 chicken legs


  • 4-6 Scotch Bonnet peppers chopped
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 4 stalks scallions ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to your preference
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from 1 large orange about ¾ cup orange juice
  • Juice from half a lime lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or use fresh if available
  • Salt and pepper to taste I usually use 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon black pepper


  1. For the jerk marinade, add all of the marinade ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

  2. Next, poke some wholes in your chicken with a knife to let the marinade permeate more deeply.

  3. Set the chicken into a large bowl or into a sealable baggie. Pour the marinade over the chicken and rub it down. You can to completely cover the chicken with the marinade.

  4. Cover and refrigerate. Marinate the chicken at least 2 hours, though you'll get more flavor penetration if you plan ahead and refrigerate overnight.

  5. When you're ready to cook, heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. It should measure 165 degrees F internally. You can also grill your chicken over a hot charcoal grill for 12-20 minutes, until the internal temp is reached. Grilling is more traditional, but baking is easy.

  6. Remove from heat and serve.

Recipe Notes

Heat Factor: Mild-Medium. The scotch bonnet peppers will bring some heat, though it won't translate to a lot of heat in the marinade process. If you'd like more heat, use more scotch bonnet peppers, or save some of the marinade to heat as a finishing sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 360 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 119mg40%
Sodium 653mg27%
Potassium 360mg10%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 260IU5%
Vitamin C 13.3mg16%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.