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Jamaican Jerk Chicken


  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup minced scallions
  • 1/2 cup peanut or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup minced ginger
  • 1/4 fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground vietnamese cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 scotch bonnet or habanero chilies, stemmed and minced
  • 2 3/4 lb chickens, each quartered


1. Combine sugar, allspice, scallions, oil, pepper, salt, ginger, juice, soy sauce, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, and chilies in a bowl. Add chicken; toss to coat in jerk marinade. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 6 hours, or overnight.

2. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grillpan over medium-high heat.) Add chicken, skin side down; cook, turning once, until marinade forms a crust on the outside, about 8 minutes. Cover grill; continue cooking until cooked through, about 40 minutes. (Alternatively, transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet; bake in a 350 degree oven until done.)

Serves 8.

This recipe first appeared in the 2012 SAVEUR 100.