Jerk chicken is an integral part of Caribbean cuisine featuring a unique seasoning mix. Spicy Scotch bonnet peppers combined with a blend of aromatic spices, fresh herbs, and brown sugar are used to flavor the chicken. The result is a dish with heavenly aromas and mouthwateringly spicy and smoky flavors.
There are many ways to cook this succulent dish. And these jerk chicken recipes you can make from scratch will help you appreciate Jamaican cuisine’s flavor explosion!
1. Marinated Jerk Chicken
Talk about love at first sight — or in this case, love at first bite! The sweet and spicy jerk marinade is easy to make; all you have to do is mix the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. You can either use chicken breasts or thighs to make this jerk chicken recipe, but be sure to marinate them for at least an hour before firing up the grill.
2. One Pan Jerk Chicken with Pineapple and Coconut Rice
Bring the Caribbean to your home with this fresh jerk chicken dish. We love this one-pan meal because the recipe simply builds on itself. Start by browning the chicken, then transfer them to a plate. Next, sauté the veggies in the same pan and add the coconut milk, pineapple chunks, and rice. Place the chicken on top, pop a lid on, and let it all simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Easy Baked Jerk Chicken Legs
Get ready to crack open your spice cabinet for this version of jerk chicken. It’s simple enough that even a brand-new home chef can make and deliver the complex flavors. Start by patting the chicken legs dry with paper towels, then rub the jerk spice mixture on top of and under the chicken skin. All that’s left to do now is to bake the jerk chicken to perfection!
4. Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken Chili with Plantain Chips
This mind-blowing jerk chicken chili is sure to brighten your day. The main ingredients are boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, onions, peppers, beans, garlic, crushed tomatoes, and a Jamaican jerk marinade. You just have to stir everything and cook the chili on low heat for six to eight hours. If you’re feeling adventurous, prepare a batch of homemade plantain chips to go with it.
5. Pan-Fried Jerk Chicken Thighs
Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these pan-fried jerk chicken thighs will simply melt in your mouth. The chicken thighs (deboned or bone-in) are coated with a fiery homemade jerk seasoning blend. Then, just crisp the thighs on the stove and transfer the pan to a very hot (475 degrees Fahrenheit) oven. Serve them up with a side of sweet potatoes to balance the heat.
6. Jerk Chicken Tacos
Swap out ground beef for jerk chicken on your next “Taco Tuesday” night. This jerk chicken recipe also includes fresh lime juice, cilantro, and pineapples topped with a homemade jerk aioli sauce. It’s the perfect dish to bring to a potluck dinner. You’ll be amazed how quickly these appetizing tacos get devoured — don’t expect to have any leftovers!
7. Jerk Chicken and Pineapple Traybake
We love this simple yet flavorful sheet pan meal. Start by rubbing a jerk paste on bone-in chicken thighs. Next, roast the chicken on a bed of pineapple, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove the pan and baste everything in the chicken drippings before returning the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes. Serve it with warm rice and lettuce.
8. Jamaican Jerk Chicken
If you want to cook a whole chicken instead of just breasts or thighs, this jerk chicken recipe will not let you down. It presents an easy-to-follow way to prepare deliciously tender spatchcock chicken. Make sure you marinate the chicken for an entire day to infuse it with mouthwatering flavors. Serve it with the homemade Scotch Bonnet sauce for an otherworldly meal!
9. Juicy Jerk Chicken Breasts with Homemade Salsa
The three words that best describe this jerk chicken recipe are fresh, juicy, and satisfying! It is also pretty versatile since you have the option to cook the chicken in a skillet or on a grill. You can even prep the ingredients ahead of time and have everything ready to go for the next day. This healthy jerk chicken entree is low-carb and keto-friendly but makes no sacrifices on flavor!
10. One Pot Caribbean Jerk Chicken & Rice
Anyone who hates doing dishes will be happy to make this one-pot jerk chicken recipe. You will need a cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven to make this hearty meal. The recipe recommends cutting slits on both sides of the chicken thighs to help the meat cook faster. Most of the cooking process is done in the oven, making it the perfect weeknight meal.
11. Paleo Friendly Jerk Chicken
It takes just nine ingredients to make this incredible meal. The jerk seasoning is easy to make with common spices that most people have in their kitchens. Start by marinating chicken drumsticks for one hour, then add vegetables and chicken broth to a rimmed baking sheet. Space the drumsticks evenly on top of the vegetables and cook everything for 40 minutes. Enjoy!
12. Instant Pot Shredded Jerk Chicken Sandwiches
This easy jerk chicken recipe results in flavorful sandwich meat that lasts for days. Sear the seasoned jerk chicken breasts, then add a homemade marinade on top. Close the lid and the vent, then cook the jerk chicken for 12 minutes, letting the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Use a fork to shred the chicken and serve it on toasted buns!
13. Grilled Honey Jerk Chicken Thighs
Talk about mouthwatering! These jerk chicken thighs taste as good as they look. Whisk garlic, balsamic vinegar, mild jerk seasoning, honey, ground ginger, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Next, toss the chicken thighs in the marinade and let them sit for 30 minutes. Grill the jerk chicken for about ten minutes per side and enjoy.
14. Grilled Jerk Chicken Kabobs
If you have chicken thighs, pineapples, onions, peppers, and jerk seasoning sauce, you have all the fixings you need to make jerk chicken kabobs. Marinate the chicken in some of the sauce, and prep the fresh produce while you’re waiting. It takes just 15 minutes to grill the kabobs, and then you can eat your heart out!