You would say that you’re having the best jerk chicken meal of your life if you experience its fragrance, tasty hotness, and smokiness all at once.
There are as several takes on jerk chicken in Jamaica, as there are cooks on the island. But the common denominator is the chicken is covered in a mixture of spices and seasoning before grilling.
For supreme flavor, let the chicken marinate overnight. That way, the seasoning can thoroughly penetrate the meat. You can also roast the chicken in the oven if desired.
It’s amazingly spicy, smoky, and fragrant—everything you crave jerk chicken to be.
Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Beans Salsa by Budget Bytes
Are you eager for another super simple meal prep (or weeknight dinner)? This Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa is astonishingly easy but still big on summery flavor.
The spicy jerk seasoning absolutely charms the sweet pineapple salsa. Meanwhile, the black beans add bulk and more protein to the meal without adding a lot to the cost. Even better, you can serve this meal hot or eat the leftovers cold for a pleasant delightful summer lunch.
This meal works excellent for weekly meal prep. Pack them up into single-serving containers and they’ll store in the refrigerator for about four days.
- 4 cups of cooked rice
For the Pineapple Black Beans Salsa
- 2 cups of pineapple tidbits*
- 1 15oz. can of black beans, well rinsed
- 1/3 cup of finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1 pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1/4 tsp of salt, or to taste
For the Jerk Chicken
- 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (about 2/3 lb. each)
- 1 Tbsp of jerk seasoning
- 1 Tbsp of cooking oil
- Start with cooking the rice. If you plan to meal prep, transfer the cooked rice to your meal prep containers and store them in the fridge as you finish the rest of the recipe. This gives the rice some time to cool down.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pineapple black bean salsa. Coarsely cut the pineapple tidbits into smaller portions, similar in size to the black beans.
- Put the chopped pineapple, rinsed black beans, diced red onion, and chopped cilantro in a big bowl.
- Press the juice of half the lime (about 1 Tbsp) over the ingredients in the bowl. Add 1/4 tsp of salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional).
- Give all the ingredients a nice mix, then give it a taste. Add some salt or lime juice if needed. Cut any unused lime into wedges for squeezing over the chicken before serving.
- Next, prepare your jerk chicken then give the chicken breasts a nice pat with a paper towel to make it dry.
- Set a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken to reduce splatter, then lightly pound the chicken breasts into an even thickness using either a rolling pin or a mallet.
- Sprinkle some jerk seasoning on both sides of the chicken then rub it with your hands, making sure that it is entirely coated.
- Preheat the cooking oil to a large skillet or preheat your grill. Once hot, place the chicken and cook it until well browned on both sides (about 7 minutes each side). The meat shouldn’t be pinkish in the middle and the juices of the chicken meat should run clear. For added safety, use an instant-read meat thermometer and cook it until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
- Place the cooked chicken on a clean cutting board and let it rest for five minutes. Afterwards, cut the chicken into 1/2-wide strips.
- When serving, put about a cup of cooked rice on your plate, or in a meal container that you prepared. Top it with about a cup of pineapple black bean salsa and several strips of the jerk chicken. Slice the remaining lime into wedges then squeeze it over the chicken just before eating.
You can use fresh or frozen (thawed), or canned pineapple. If you prefer to use canned pineapple, make sure to get the one with 100% juice, not the syrup one.
One-Pot Caribbean Jerk Chicken & Rice by Immaculate Bites
This recipe is a flavor burst in a pot! It comes together instantly as the chicken thighs are baked to crispy supremacy on a bed of fragrant rice and beans.
This recipe is a blend of Caribbean rice and beans and an oven-baked Jerk Chicken. Both of which have been people’s favorite. If you love both of these recipes then you are surely going to go crazy over this one.
Ingredients for the Jerk Chicken Thighs
- 2 1/2 of 3 pounds of chicken thighs (about 5-6)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder (optional)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of Jerk Seasoning (Homemade here)
For the One-pot Jerk Chicken and Rice
- 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme
- 4 Tablespoons of canola oil
- ½ diced medium onion
- 2 minced garlic clove
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 cups of uncooked long-grain rice
- 13.5 oz. can or 1¾ cups of coconut milk
- 15.5 oz. can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon of white ground white pepper
- 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of creole spice or Jerk seasoning
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 -2 1/4 cups of chicken broth or water (If you’re using 6 chicken thighs, use 2 cups of water)
- 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon (optional)
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)
- 1 green onion(for garnish) optional
Preparation for the Jerk Chicken Thighs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wash the chicken thighs. For faster cooking, create a 1/2-inch cut on any side of the chicken thigh meat then wipe it with a paper towel to dry.
- Season the chicken with salt or about 1 1/2 teaspoons bouillon powder.
- Rub both sides of the chicken with a generous amount of the spice blend (Creole, Jerk, or your favorite spice mix)
For the One-pot Jerk Chicken and Rice
- Preheat 2 Tablespoons oil in a skillet, dutch oven, or oven-safe pot or pan. Add the chicken thighs with the skin side up. Let the chicken skin turn brown on each side but be very careful not to burn it.
- Take it out from the pan and set it aside for later use.
- Remove any burns from the pan by wiping it with a paper towel or napkin
- Add another 2 Tablespoons of oil, followed by onions, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, and sauté until it becomes soft but not golden for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the rice followed by all the remaining ingredients (beans, chicken stock, coconut milk, salt, white pepper, paprika, jerk seasoning, and bouillon). Bring the chicken to a boil.
- Place it in the oven and cook it uncovered for about 30- 35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Garnish it with chopped green onions if desired.
- Remove from heat and let it cool before serving.
Jerk Chicken with Rice & Peas by BBC Good Food
- 12 chicken thighs with bone-in
- 1 lime cut in half
- hot sauce, for serving (optional)
For the Marinade
- 1 big bunch of roughly chopped spring onions
- roughly chopped thumb-sized piece ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic
- half of a small onion
- 3 scotch bonnet chilies, remove the seed if you want it to be less spicy
- ½ tsp of dried thyme, or 1 tbsp of thyme leaves
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp of ground allspice
For the Rice & Peas
- 200g of basmati rice
- 400g can of coconut milk
- 1 bunch of sliced spring onions
- 2 large sprigs of thyme
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 1 tsp of ground allspice
- 2 x 410g cans of kidney beans, drained
- To prepare the jerk marinade, place the spring onions, ginger, onion, garlic, dried thyme, scotch bonnet chilies, lime juice, soy sauce, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and ground allspice in a food processor. Add teaspoon of salt, then blend it to a purée.
- If you find it hard to blend all of the ingredients, just turn off the mixture then stir the ingredients then turn it back on. Keep on doing this technique and it will eventually start to blend up. Don’t be tempted to add water, as you want a thick paste.
- Taste the jerk mixture you made. It should taste moderately salty but not unpleasant.
- Add in more chilies if it’s not spicy enough for you. If it turns too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar to balance the taste.
- Create a few cuts in 12 chicken thighs then pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and store it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- If you want your chicken to get barbecued, get the coals burning 1 hour or so before it is ready to cook.
- An authentic jerked meat is not precisely grilled as we think of grilling, but a kind of smoke-grilled. To achieve a more genuine jerk experience, put some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook the chicken over slow, indirect heat for 30 mins.
- To cook it in the oven, heat it to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the halved lime then cook it for 45 mins until it becomes tender and cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare your rice and peas. Rinse the basmati rice in cold water, then tilt it into a large saucepan.
- Add the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme sprigs, garlic, and ground allspice to the saucepan.
- Season it with salt, then add 300ml of cold water and set it over high heat. Once the rice starts to boil, turn it down to medium heat, cover with a lid, then cook it for 10 mins.
- Add the kidney beans to the rice, then cover it with a lid. Leave off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is consumed.
- Squeeze the roasted lime over the chicken then serve it with the rice and peas. Add hot sauce if you like it spicy.
One-Pot Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Rice, and Beans by Easy, Peasy, Foodie
Ingredients for the Jerk Marinade
- 4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons of allspice
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes (more if you want to turn up the HEAT!)
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of thyme (ideally fresh, but dried will do)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
For the Jerk Chicken, Rice, and Beans
- 8 chicken thighs or legs bone-in with the skin on
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for frying
- 4 spring of finely sliced onions
- 3 grated or crushed garlic cloves
- 300 g of rice
- 400 g of kidney beans including the water
- 400 ml tin of coconut milk
- 1 chicken stock cube
- Juice of 1 lime
- Extra limes and sliced spring onions for serving
- Fresh sliced chili for serving (optional)
- In a large bowl, give all the ingredients for the jerk marinade a fine mix. Add the chicken and make sure it’s well-coated. You can leave it as is or let it marinate for at least an hour.
- Turn on the oven then preheat it to 220C or 425F.
- Preheat a large oven-proof frying pan on high then add a little olive oil. Put in the chicken, skin side down, and fry it for 2 minutes on the skin side. Flip it over and fry it for another minute on the other side. Transfer to a plate afterwards.
- Set the frying pan back on the heat, turn the heat right down then add the spring onions and garlic. Fry it for two minutes, then add the rice, kidney beans (including the water), and coconut milk.
- Add in the chicken stock cube then squeeze in the lime juice.
- Bring the stock to a boil then add the chicken, skin side up. Cover it with a lid or tin foil then place it in your preheated oven for 15 mins, then uncover and cook it for another 10 minutes.
- Spread with sliced spring onion and serve with lime wedges. You could also scatter over some fresh chilies if you like them to be spicier.
Ideally, you should marinate the chicken for 1-2 hours. But if you haven’t got the time, just simply continue with the recipe – it will still taste good! If you don’t have an ovenproof frying pan, you can still do this recipe in a regular frying pan then transfer everything to a large oven dish or roasting tray and cover it with a lid or tin foil.
Jerk Chicken Skillet Dinner by The Kitchn
From the crispy-skinned thighs covered with the warm heat that only the jerk seasoning can produce, to the rice scented with coconut milk, this one-skillet meal is all about how much taste you can press into a single pan.
This recipe beckons for wet jerk seasoning, rather than a jerk dry rub. So the zest seeps through the surface and into the chicken thighs. The prepared rub is very easy to spot in an international foods section in the grocery store. Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way.
A spoonful of jerk seasoning can bring the heat and spice needed in this recipe.
To make this a whole meal, you can pair the chicken with a bed of rich, herbed coconut rice and beans. If you add a splash of vinegar for a tang, then this becomes a one-pan dinner standout you’ll make again and again.
- 2 pounds of bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon of store-bought wet jerk seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 medium diced onion
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of long-grain white rice
- 1 can or 15 ounces of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons of distilled white vinegar
- Set a rack in the middle of the oven and heat it to 350°F.
- Dry the chicken thighs patting them with paper towels.
- Combine the chicken thighs and jerk seasoning in a large bowl then give it a nice toss until the chicken is well-coated. Season all over it with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oil in a 10-inch or larger cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
- Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook it until the fat is done and the skin is crisp and turns golden-brown for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Turn the chicken and cook it for 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate then set it aside for later use.
- Reduce the heat to medium then add the onion to the pan. Cook it by stirring occasionally until it softens for about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic then cook it for a minute more. Add in the rice, beans, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and give it a good stir to combine the ingredients well. Cook it for 2 minutes.
- Add in the coconut milk, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Bring it to a boil.
- Take out the pan from the heat then place the chicken skin-side up on top of the rice. Add any juices collected on the plate and top it with the thyme sprigs.
- Bake the chicken until it is cooked through and the rice has become tender for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to the plates. Add some vinegar to the skillet and stir it into the rice. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and serve the rice with the chicken.
Leftovers can be kept for up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container inside the refrigerator.
Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Peas and Pineapple Salsa by Delicious
This Jamaican favorite is a little bit more special with a fabulous homemade jerk marinade, coconut rice, and fresh pineapple salsa.
- 8 free-range chicken thighs, skin is cut with a sharp knife
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 tsp of brown sugar
- Juice of 2 limes, plus wedges for serving
- 25g of butter
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- ½ pineapple, slice into 2cm chunks
- ½ bunch of finely chopped spring onions
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked, add some more for serving
For the Jerk Marinade
- 1 chopped scotch bonnet chili
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 3cm of grated fresh ginger
- ½ tsp of ground cloves
- ½ tsp of ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp of ground allspice
- 4 chopped spring onions, green parts only
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus more for serving
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
For the Coconut Rice
- 350ml of coconut milk
- 350g of basmati rice
- 400g of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the marinade then whizz it to a rough paste (or finely chop by hand).
- Spoon into a large mixing bowl, then add the chicken followed by the soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Season well and give it a nice toss to coat the chicken fully. Set it aside to marinate for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 200°C or 180°C fans. Place the marinated chicken on a large baking tray and cook it for 45 minutes until it turns golden brown or cooked through. You can determine its doneness by pushing a skewer into the thickest part and making sure the juices run clear.
- After the chicken has had around 20 minutes of cooking time, then it is time to make the rice. Pour 350ml of cold water, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt in a large pan with a lid and bring it up to a simmer.
- Add the rice and cook it. Cover it for 12 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add in the kidney beans and set them aside off the heat, with the lid on, for 5-10 minutes, or until the grains fluff up.
- Meanwhile, preheat the butter and oil in a frying pan and cook your pineapple for 10 minutes until it is caramelized all over.
- Add in the chopped green spring onions and thyme, then set it aside.
- Serve the chicken on top of the rice, then sprinkle it with thyme. Place the pineapple salsa and lime wedges on the side.
The Jamaican jerk seasoning carries a wallop of herby, fiery, and tangy flavors unlike anything else.
“Jerk” normally refers to a spice blend, which began in Jamaica. But it also often incorporates the cooking technique of meat smoked or grilled over branches of allspice.
While the ingredients for jerk seasoning is a perfect fit for any jerk chicken meal, it can vary slightly from recipe to recipe.
There are two mainstays that you’ll notice when creating these meals: scotch bonnet peppers (think: one move up from habaneros in both heat and flavor) and allspice. These two ingredients are what make a jerk chicken meal tastes authentic.