Jamaican Jerk Chicken Marinade

By Jenn Rose Smith
fried chicken: Entertaining w/ Nikisha

fried chicken: Entertaining w/ Nikishaphotographed by kate lesueur

Nikisha Brunson loves serving guests meals that reflect her Jamaican heritage like this amazing jerk chicken. See how she serves it as part of a fun comfort food brunch by reading the full post here.


Jamaican Jerk Chicken Marinade

Serves makes about 3 cups

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Marinade

By Camille Styles


  • 5 scallions (green onions)
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-5 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-4 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 lime squeezed


If you’re using dried thyme, use about 1/2 table spoon. This makes about 3 cups of marinade and it can be stored in the fridge for up to one month. You’ll be making a puree with the ingredients listed above. So you’ll need a blender or food processor. Combine all ingredients into the blender and process into a smooth paste. For best results use this sauce immediately, but marinate your chicken, pork, or fish (haven’t tried beef yet) for at least 2 hours before grilling or roasting in the oven.

Tip: Line your baking dish with aluminum foil to make the clean-up after easier.

Now you’re set for marinating your chicken, fish, (tofu and veggies don’t need to marinate since they absorb marinades really quickly). In a zip lock bag or bowl with a lid, pour the jerk marinade and mix everything well. Now seal and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. (Nikisha uses a large baking dish, which she seals with plastic wrap. This way when she's ready, it can go directly into the oven.)

Preheat your oven at 375 degrees.

Place the baking dish with the chicken on the middle rack and allow this to cook for about 1 hour. After about 45 minutes, turn your chicken to the other side, coat it with more sauce and cook it for another 10 minutes.  If you want to add some rich color to the finished dish, you may need turn on your broiler for a few minutes.

Comments (13)

  1. Evangeline Morgan says:

    Love jerk chicken will try it this way in the oven I usually put it on my outside grill.

  2. Martha says:

    How many pounds of chicken do you need for this recipe?

  3. Jessica Palestrant Garcia says:

    Recipe was great and we loved it but you couldnt even taste any heat in this… Either add some cayenne pepper in place of black pepper or little more scotch peppers.

  4. lady lisa says:

    Just marinated chicken with these ingrediants. Cant wait to taste on the bbq!

  5. Mary Jane says:

    Love jerk chicken! When we were in Jamaica the chicken was served with a lovely sauce/gravey. Any chance of getting the recipe for that?

  6. judy says:

    does anyone have a receipy for jamaican Pumpkin soup…i have been searching everywhere….best pumpkin soup was in jamaica

  7. Dave says:

    Amazing. Love it on the grill too! Now I can no longer order wings out as these are awesome

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