You'll love this easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe! Baked in the oven until tender and juicy. Green onions, golden raisins, and habanero chilies create the most delicious Jerk Chicken marinade.
If you are anything like me, you are always looking for ways to spruce up your chicken game. Chicken left alone to its own devices can be bland. Here enters my Jerk Chicken Recipe!
I created a sweet and spicy spiced chicken that is Whole30 and Paleo-Friendly! Traditionally Jerk Chicken is made with green onions, habanero chilies, brown sugar, allspice, and thyme. We decided to swap out the brown sugar for golden raisins for sweetness.
Dark meat chicken is the best cut of meat. Chicken thighs and drumsticks are the two cuts I recommend. Why do you ask? Dark meat doesn't dry out like chicken breast. The chicken should be fall-apart tender and juicy.
Serve this jerk chicken with coconut cauliflower rice, sweet potatoes, and mango salsa.
Check out our crispy air-fryer chicken for more great options!
- Why this easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe is so good.
- How to make Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- What to serve with jerk chicken
- How to make this easy jamaican jerk chicken recipe on the grill
- Substitutions and Variations
- How to store and reheat Jerk Chicken
- Pro Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other chicken recipes to try...
- 📖 Recipe
Why this easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe is so good.
- Baked in the oven. Chicken drumsticks are marinated and placed on a baking tray and cooked in the oven for easy cleanup.
- Jerk chicken is refined sugar-free. Golden raisins add enough natural sweetness making it a great Paleo option!
- Tender and Juicy. Drumsticks baked in the oven are so DELICIOUS and pull-apart tender.
- chicken drumsticks - I recommend using drumsticks or chicken thighs
- raisins - for sweetness
- habanero chili - only 1 pepper is needed, it's spicy!
- ginger - only use fresh ginger root
- green onions
- limes - for garnish
- spices - allspice and coriander
- fresh thyme
- avocado oil
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Making jerk chicken is so easy, here's how to make it:
Step 1: In a food processor combine green onions, raisins, garlic, ginger, spices, thyme, and avocado oil.
Step 2: Pulse the mixture for 1-2 minutes until it reaches a smooth paste.
Step 3: In a large bowl, toss drumsticks with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Place jerk chicken onto a parchment-lined baking tray and cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
What to serve with jerk chicken
Here is a list of traditional sides served with jerk chicken:
How to make this easy jamaican jerk chicken recipe on the grill
Jerk chicken on the grill is also very delicious! First, let's turn on our grill to get it nice and hot. I like to turn mine on to full blast with the lid closed for about 15 minutes. Place marinated chicken on the grill with the lid open and cook until crispy but not burned.
Turn off one side of your grill and cook the chicken indirectly. This will allow your chicken to finish cooking without it burning. Close the lid and cook for another 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Substitutions and Variations
Chicken - Swap out chicken drumsticks for thighs. I have made this recipe using both types of cuts, and they both turn out delicious. Stay away from using chicken breast for this recipe.
Golden Raisins - If this dried fruit is not your jam, try using 4 chopped dates or ¼ cup of coconut aminos.
Slow Cooker - Place marinated drumsticks in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking tray and place under the broiler for a couple of minutes or until crispy.
How to store and reheat Jerk Chicken
Storage: You can store cooked jerk chicken for 5 days in the refrigerator.
Marinate: You can marinate chicken in a ziplock bag for 2 days in the refrigerator.
Freezing: If freezing cooked jerk chicken, it will last for 3 months in the freezer. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container.
Reheat In Oven: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place jerk chicken on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake until heated through.
Reheat in Microwave: It's easy to dry out chicken in the microwave. Place chicken inside of a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Heat on 70% power for 5 minutes.
- When working with habanero chilies, make sure to wear disposable gloves. Remember to wash your hands, cutting, board, and knife.
- Marinate chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more flavorful it will taste.
- Have a tough time peeling ginger root? Using a small spoon to scrape away the skin works the best.
- This recipe isn't blazing hot, but it does have a kick. Add in another habanero chili if you like it HOT!
- Make the jerk marinade in advance. This sauce will last in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can marinate chicken for 1-2 days before cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Marinate jerk chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes. For best results, marinate between 6 - 24 hours long.
Yes! Jerk chicken is all about the marinade, and you need time for the flavor to penetrate the chicken. If you are in a hurry, marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Jerk chicken is a spicy and sweet marinated chicken popular in Jamaica. Scotch bonnet chilies are used in every jerk chicken recipe. Depending on your spice tolerance, you can increase or decrease the number of chilies.
Jerk seasoning marinade is Jamaica in a bottle. Every jerk marinade includes scotch bonnet chilies, green onions, sugar, thyme, and allspice. You can bake or grill the chicken thighs or drumsticks.
Other chicken recipes to try...
Easy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe
- 8 whole green onions roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 whole habanero seeded
- 1 whole ginger 1-inch pieced sliced into rounds
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon allspice ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander ground
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper ground
- 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
- In a food processor combine green onions, avocado oil, habanero, ginger, golden raisins, garlic, thyme, allspice, coriander, salt, and pepper.
- Blend for 1-2 minutes until the paste is smooth. Toss chicken drumsticks with the jerk marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
- Place chicken on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Garnish with fresh lime wedges.
- The longer you marinate Jerk Chicken the more flavorful it will taste.
- Make sure to wear gloves when handling habanero chilies.
- I find that chicken thighs and drumsticks make the best Jerk Chicken.