Jamaican Jerk Chicken from Smokey Joe's

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 4 servings

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
1tablespoon (heaping) fresh thyme leaves
1teaspoon ground allspice
1 whole cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1teaspoon ground nutmeg
2teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 to 3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile peppers, stems and seed removed
2tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2cup soy sauce
Juice of 4 limes (6 tablespoons)
1/2cup 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.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 440
  • Fat 27g
  • Cholesterol 100mg
  • Sodium 580mg
  • Carbohydrate 9g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Protein 39g