Top 5 Jerk Chicken Recipes To Try This Summer

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By Christopher Spiker

Get ready to fire up the grill and tantalize your taste buds with the smoky, spicy flavors of jerk chicken! “Top 5 Jerk Chicken Recipes To Try This Summer” brings you a handpicked selection of the most mouth-watering jerk chicken dishes you can whip up during the sunny season. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just love experimenting with new recipes, these five standout creations will elevate your summer cookouts to a whole new level of deliciousness. Enjoy the perfect balance of heat and zest as you explore each recipe, making your summer gatherings memorable and utterly delectable. Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about that spicy, smoky flavor of jerk chicken sizzling on the grill? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This summer, why not take a culinary adventure and spice up your BBQ game with some delicious jerk chicken recipes? In this article, we’ll dive into the top 5 jerk chicken recipes that are guaranteed to be a hit at your summer gatherings. Let’s get started!

Classic Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Nothing beats the original, right? This classic Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe brings you the authentic taste of the Caribbean. The key here is the marinade, packed with a punch of flavor.


  • Chicken (whole or parts): 4 lbs
  • Green onions (scallions): 6
  • Garlic cloves: 6
  • Scotch Bonnet peppers: 2 (adjust for heat tolerance)
  • Fresh thyme: 1 tbsp
  • Ground allspice: 2 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon: 1 tsp
  • Freshly grated nutmeg: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: 2 tsp
  • Brown sugar: 1 tbsp
  • Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Lime juice: 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • White vinegar: 2 tbsp


  1. Prepare the marinade: Blend all ingredients except the chicken in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag or a deep dish and pour the marinade over it. Ensure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
  3. Grill the chicken: Preheat your grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken pieces for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until fully cooked.
  4. Serve: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy with some rice and peas or a fresh mango salad.

Oven-Baked Jerk Chicken

Not everyone has a grill, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the delectable flavors of jerk chicken. This oven-baked version is just as juicy and flavorful.


  • Chicken thighs and drumsticks: 3 lbs
  • Jerk marinade (store-bought or homemade, see the classic recipe)


  1. Marinate the chicken: Follow the same instructions as the classic Jamaican Jerk Chicken to marinate the chicken.
  2. Preheat the oven: Set your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  3. Bake: Place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  4. Serve: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes. Serve with roasted vegetables and some coleslaw.

Top 5 Jerk Chicken Recipes To Try This Summer

Jerk Chicken Tacos

Why not mix things up a bit? These Jerk Chicken Tacos are bursting with flavor and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser. They’re perfect for a fun and casual summer meal.


  • Chicken breast: 2 lbs, thinly sliced
  • Jerk seasoning: 3 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Corn tortillas: 12
  • Mango salsa: 1 cup
  • Avocado: 2, sliced
  • Lime wedges, to serve


  1. Season the chicken: Sprinkle the jerk seasoning over the chicken slices and mix well. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Cook the chicken: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until done, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Assemble the tacos: Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or microwave. Fill each tortilla with some chicken, mango salsa, and avocado slices.
  4. Serve: Serve immediately with lime wedges for an extra zing.

Jerk Chicken Wings

Everyone loves a good chicken wing, and these Jerk Chicken Wings are no exception. They’re perfect for parties or as an appetizer at your summer BBQ.


  • Chicken wings: 3 lbs
  • Jerk seasoning: 3 tbsp
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Lime juice: 2 tbsp


  1. Prepare the wings: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss the chicken wings with the jerk seasoning, olive oil, and lime juice until well coated.
  2. Bake: Spread the wings out on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through, until they are crispy and cooked through.
  3. Serve: Let the wings rest for a few minutes before serving. Pair them with some dipping sauce like ranch or blue cheese.

Suggested Dipping Sauces:

Sauce Type Ingredients
Ranch Store-bought or homemade ranch dressing
Blue Cheese Blue cheese dressing or dip
Mango Habanero 2 ripe mangoes, 1 habanero pepper, 1/4 cup honey, juice of 1 lime

Top 5 Jerk Chicken Recipes To Try This Summer

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

For those busy days when you still want that Caribbean flavor, this Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is the way to go. It’s tender, flavorful, and super easy to make.


  • Chicken thighs: 3 lbs
  • Jerk marinade: 1 cup (store-bought or homemade, see the classic recipe)
  • Onion: 1, sliced
  • Bell peppers: 2, sliced (any color)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves, minced
  • Chicken broth: 1/2 cup


  1. Prepare the ingredients: Place the sliced onions and bell peppers at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Add the chicken: Place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables. Pour the jerk marinade and chicken broth over the chicken.
  3. Cook: Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is tender and fully cooked.
  4. Serve: Serve the chicken with the cooked vegetables and some steamed rice or quinoa.

Tips for Making the Perfect Jerk Chicken

Choose the Right Chicken

Selecting the right type of chicken can make or break your jerk chicken experience. Bone-in and skin-on pieces like thighs and drumsticks tend to work best as they stay moist and flavorful.

Marinade is Key

The marinade is the heart and soul of jerk chicken. Don’t skimp on marinating time – the longer, the better. Overnight marination is ideal to get those deep, penetrating flavors.

Mind the Heat

Scotch Bonnet peppers are traditional in jerk seasoning. If you’re sensitive to heat, you can use fewer peppers or substitute with milder ones. Always remember to handle peppers carefully, preferably with gloves.

Cooking Method

Whether you’re grilling, baking, or slow-cooking, ensure you don’t overcook the chicken. Always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The internal temperature should be at least 165°F (74°C).

Serve with Style

Jerk chicken pairs beautifully with a variety of sides. Some popular options include rice and peas, coleslaw, grilled vegetables, and tropical fruit salads. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Top 5 Jerk Chicken Recipes To Try This Summer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Jerk Seasoning?

Jerk seasoning is a blend of spices like allspice, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, scallions, garlic, and peppers. It’s known for its smoky and spicy flavor.

Can I Make Jerk Chicken Without a Grill?

Absolutely! The oven-baked and slow-cooker methods above are perfect for those without a grill.

How Spicy is Jerk Chicken?

The heat level can vary. Traditional recipes can be quite spicy due to Scotch Bonnet peppers, but you can adjust the spice to your preference.

Can I Use Store-Bought Marinade?

Yes, store-bought jerk marinades can be a convenient alternative. Just make sure to choose a high-quality brand for the best flavors.

What Sides Work Best with Jerk Chicken?

Classic sides include rice and peas, fried plantains, coleslaw, and fresh fruit salads. Feel free to get creative and mix and match.

Now that you have these five amazing jerk chicken recipes, you’re all set to impress your friends and family this summer. So fire up that grill or oven, get your marinades ready, and let the flavors of the Caribbean take you on a delicious journey. Enjoy your summer and happy cooking!