Jerked Chicken

Caution, this dish is not for the faint of heart. True jerked chicken uses Scotch Bonnet peppers which are 10x hotter than the hottest jalapeño pepper.

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Published on May 6, 2020

This recipe came from the line of thinking: “what can I bring to a summer barbeque to impress all my friends”.

There are few things as good as a crispy, tender chicken thigh that has been marinated overnight in a staggering amount of spices that I never really thought of combining before I started down the path of jerked chicken.

I like to make a quadruple batch of the marinade and freeze it so I can use it as needed. Quadrupling the recipe also conveniently uses a whole pack of scotch bonnet pepper from the grocery store, so win win.


  • 6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 4 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 0.5 tbsp salt
  • 0.5 tbsp black pepper
  • 0.33 cup soy sauce
  • 0.25 cup white vinegar
  • 0.5 lime



Prep time: 24h30m

Cook time: 15m

Total time: 24h45m

  1. Roughly chop all of the vegetables and blend into a smooth paste in the blender.

    Score the chicken thighs with 0.5″ cuts on the skin side and pour marinade over chicken thighs. For best results, massage the marinade into all of the nooks and crannies of the chicken. Gloves are necessary for this because of the scotch bonnet peppers. Cover the chicken, and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

  2. If you have a charcoal grill and access to pimento wood sticks, set up your a 2 station grill, one with direct heat, one with indirect heat. Lay the pimento sticks on the grate away from the heat and place the chickens on top of the sticks. You can also soak pimento wood chips and add directly to the coals. Cook for 2 – 2.5 hours until dark brown and cooked through.

    If you only have access to a gas grill, preheat the grill and oil the grates. Cook the chicken over medium flame, turning constantly until cooked through with a good char. Because you are using thighs and not breasts, do not worry too much about the thighs drying out. Jerked chicken is best with a crispy outside and an almost leathery texture to the interior.

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