Jerk Chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


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Recipes from Brixton Village

Recipes from Brixton Village

By Miss South

Published 2014

  • About
Fish, Wings & Tings

Jerk chicken is probably the dish most people associate with Caribbean cuisine. The name comes from both the method of cooking on a barbecue known as a jerk drum and the actual seasoning itself. Everyone has a different recipe but allspice and scotch bonnet peppers are essential.

You can jerk pork or fish or even tofu, but chicken is the classic. Cook it on the bone to keep it tender and allow the skin to crisp up. Traditionally served with rice and peas and hot sauce on the side, you’ll soon see why it’s so popular.


  • 2 large whole chickens, cut in quarters
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers, whole
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 bunches spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 50 g fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons annatto oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


Rub the chicken quarters with the salt and garlic powder. When you quarter a chicken it combines breast and leg meat for the best of both worlds.

To make the jerk seasoning paste, combine all the remaining ingredients in a food processor or pestle and mortar and blend until well combined. Spread the paste over the chicken pieces and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the chicken in a roasting tin and roast for 30–40 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the juices run clear. Serve with rice and peas or Trinidadian dumplings.

You can also cook the chicken outside on a barbecue which will enhance the flavour. Use a mixture of charcoal and wood chips you’ve soaked in water to get lots of smoke going, giving it an authentic Jamaican taste.