Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

This Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe is marinated in the authentic flavors of cinnamon, allspice and fiery peppers then oven baked until tender.

Jerk chicken in a casserole pan

You don’t have to go to the Caribbean to enjoy jerk chicken!

This traditional recipe can be made at home using a jerk chicken marinade. 

The secret is in the sauce!

Jamaican jerk chicken seasoning is typically sweet and spicy. 
Spices and coconut milk in blender
We discovered this Caribbean flavor on a recent trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we enjoyed Jamaican jerk chicken barbecued poolside daily for lunch. 
Every day for lunch, the groups would head over to the barbecue and patiently wait in line for a plateful. You could smell the aroma and everyone knew when it was lunch time.
This is the typical manner of cooking jerk chicken in Jamaica, which uses a marinade or paste to season and flavor meat. 
Even my youngest who is not a fan of spicy food loved this chicken. 
raw chicken breasts in baking dish
So when I returned home, I was on the lookout for a recipe as good as what we had in Jamaica.  
I wanted a way to infuse the flavor into the chicken while keeping it moist and tender.
Jamaican jerk chicken with coconut milk was the answer. 
Chicken breasts marinating in casserole pan
The coconut milk absorbed the subtle flavors of ginger and garlic and allowed the spices to pop.
The result was fall off the bone tender chicken. 
Spoon holding cooked Jamaican chicken

Is Jamaican jerk sauce spicy?

Not this recipe. Everyone at the table will enjoy this baked version. 
Typically jerk seasoning is made with spicy scotch bonnet peppers (habanero) and allspice. 
If you’d like a spicier version, just add a hot pepper to the recipe.
Three cooked chicken breasts in a baking dish

A few notes for Jamaican Jerk Chicken


  • Pick your chicken. Bone-in chicken breasts are ideal for this recipe, but all legs, thighs and leg quarters work great too. Leave the skin on while marinating and roasting for full flavor.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least two hours for the best flavor. If you have extra time, you can refrigerate this up to a day in advance.
  • If you’d prefer a spicier flavor, add a scotch bonnet pepper, or habanero to the marinade. 
  • Fresh is best. Minced garlic or ginger will work in a pinch but if you can pick up fresh produce as well as fresh herbs, the taste will shine through.



Jerk chicken in a casserole pan

Jamican Jerk Chicken

Ali Randall
This Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe is marinated in the authentic flavors of cinnamon, allspice and fiery peppers then oven baked until tender.

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 4 people


  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1 15- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped


  • Combine all the ingredients except for the chicken into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  
  • Place the chicken in a 9 x 13“ baking pan and pour the marinade on top. Allow the chicken to chill for at least two hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the chicken for one hour, occasionally spooning the sauce over the chicken until cooked through and tender.  


  • Substitute 8 chicken legs or thighs in place of bone-in breasts.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of chopped scotch bonnet pepper for a spicier marinade.
Keyword Jamaican Jerk Chicken


Jamaican Jerk Chicken


If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #homeandplate. I’d love to see what you cook!

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