gordon ramsay's jamaican jerk chicken

Gordon Ramsay’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken: Fusion of Fire and Flavor

Dive into the heart of Jamaican flavors with Gordon Ramsay’s Jerk Chicken recipe, a smoky and fiery technique steeped in tradition that promises to deliver the bold zest of the Caribbean right to your grill. You’ll transport the vibrant essence of island streets into your kitchen as you rub or marinate your chicken with the aromatic blend of allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, and a symphony of spices.

With expert tips and tricks, you and your friends will be well-equipped to create a mouthwateringly authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken perfect for spicing up your weeknight dinners or wowing guests at your next summer barbecue. Embrace these piquant flavors and ensure a spectacular culinary experience that will impress.

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

4.1 from 12 votes


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  • For the Chicken
  • 4 chicken thighs skin-on (you can also use a whole chicken cut into pieces)

  • 4 chicken drumsticks skin-on

  • 1 Lime wedges for serving

  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped for garnish

  • For the Jerk Marinade
  • 6 green onions, roughly chopped

  • 2 -3 Scotch bonnet peppers, deseeded (adjust to heat preference)

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon thyme, freshly chopped

  • 2 teaspoons allspice, ground

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup lime juice

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Prepare the Jerk Marinade:
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the green onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, ginger, garlic, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Blend until smooth.
  • Season the marinade with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Marinate the Chicken:
  • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag.
  • Pour the jerk marinade over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well coated.
  • Cover or seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, for the flavors to develop fully.
  • Cook the Chicken:
  • Preheat your grill, grill pan, or oven to medium-high heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off excess. If using an oven, preheat it to 375°F (190°C).
  • Grill or bake the chicken until cooked and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), about 25-30 minutes for grilling or 40-45 minutes in the oven. Turn the pieces occasionally to cook evenly.
  • Serve the Jamaican jerk chicken hot, garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley and lime wedges.

Recipe Video


A twist on tradition: Savor the unique combination in Gordon Ramsay’s Roast Chicken Stuffed with Chorizo: Flavorful Feast.

What Makes a Chicken Jerked?

Jerked chicken is a cooking style native to Jamaica, where the meat is dry-rubbed or wet-marinated with a hot spice mixture called jerk seasoning. The chicken is then jerked, which historically refers to the process of poking holes in the meat to ensure the marinade permeates it thoroughly. The term “jerk” also refers to the cooking method, which traditionally involves slow-cooking the chicken over a fire made from pimento wood, imparting a distinctive smoky flavor.

What is Jerk Chicken Seasoning Made Of?

Jerk chicken seasoning is a blend of spices and ingredients that typically includes:

  • Allspice (pimento, which is indigenous to Jamaica)
  • Scotch bonnet peppers (or habanero peppers)
  • Thyme
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Brown sugar (sometimes used for a touch of sweetness)

The exact recipe can vary from chef to chef, with some adding additional ingredients like green onions, soy sauce, or citrus juice to create a unique flavor profile.

What Gives Jerk Chicken Its Taste?

The distinctive taste of jerk chicken comes from the combination of the jerk seasoning and the cooking method. The allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers provide a spicy, aromatic flavor, while the smokiness from cooking over pimento wood adds depth. The blend of herbs and spices, along with the tang and sweetness from any added citrus or sugar, creates a complex flavor profile that is uniquely Jamaican.

What Cut of Chicken for Jerk?

A variety of chicken cuts can be used for making jerk chicken, including:

  • Whole chicken that is cut into pieces
  • Chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless)
  • Chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless)
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Chicken wings

The cut choice depends on personal preference and cooking time, with bone-in pieces taking longer to cook but often resulting in juicier meat. Thighs and drumsticks are traditional and popular due to their flavorful and moist nature.

After savoring the vibrant and spicy flavors of our Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe, it’s easy to understand why this dish is celebrated across the globe. By following our simple steps, you’ve hopefully captured the authentic essence of Caribbean cuisine right in your backyard. Remember, the beauty of this recipe is in its flexibility; adjust the heat to suit your palate, and don’t be afraid to play with different cuts of chicken to please your crowd.

So gather your friends and family because it’s time to revel in this grilled masterpiece’s delicious heat and undeniable charm. And as they say in Jamaica, “Walk good” until you cook with us again at Hell’s Kitchen Recipes.

Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by John Siracusa


  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

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4.1 from 12 votes
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