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.

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.

Jerked Chicken

Jerked Chicken

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 25 minutes


  • 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
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 medium lime, juiced


  1. Roughly chop all of the vegetables and blend into a smooth paste in the blender.
  2. Score the chicken thighs with 0.5-inch 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.
  3. Once marinated, preheat your preferred method of cooking. For BBQs, preheat grill at full heat for 15 minutes. Once preheated, reduce heat to medium, oil the grate, and lay chicken thighs fat side down, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Cover the grill and cook, for 5 minutes or until the thighs easily release from the grill. Once thighs release easily, flip and cook covered for another 5 minutes. Repeat this process until the thighs return an internal temperature of 165F. For stovetop, preheat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan until shimmering. Lay the thighs skin side down and cook for 5 minutes or until the thighs easily release from the pan. Once they release easily, flip and continue cooking. Continue flipping every 5 minutes until the thighs register an internal temperature of 165f.
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