Jerk Chicken Kebabs

July 22, 2011

Author Notes: I had jerk chicken for the first time while on vacation in Jamaica, and I decided to try to recreate this dish. I have been tweaking different recipes, and this is my version of a classic Jamaican jerk chicken. Instead of grilling it on the bone, I skewered chunks of chicken from the breast and thigh. I like to serve it with rice and beans cooked in coconut milk. The rice provides a nice balance to the heat of the jerk chicken.

If you really like it hot, add more of the scotch bonnet peppers. I am a bit of a wimp so one is all I could handle. You can make it to suite your own comfort level.

I am including the link to the recipe I created for Caribbean rice and beans: - sdebrango

Food52 Review: Just when you think you've run out of summer chicken marinade recipes, some new inspiration arrives! This marinade allows citrus fruits to temper and enhance the bite of the sometimes unruly habanero pepper. A little sweet, a little hot, and oh so flavorful! It comes together quickly in the whir of your blender, which is an extra bonus. Don't skip the coconut rice and beans -- that will make your summer on the porch or patio dinner complete! I might try it on swordfish or salmon next time around. Thanks for such a great addition to my summer repertoire.sticksnscones

Serves: 4 to 6


Jerk sauce and marinade for chicken

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped (remove seeds for less intense heat)
  • 2 jalapeño, chopped (remove the seeds for less intense heat)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican allspice (whole)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use Vietnamese)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds chicken, cut into chunks

Grilling the chicken

  • 12 to 16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water (the number of skewers depends on how many pieces you put on each skewer.)
  • Marinated jerk chicken
  • Reserved jerk sauce
In This Recipe


Jerk sauce and marinade for chicken

  1. Chop your peppers, removing seeds if desired. In a mortar, smash the Jamaican allspice. Add everything to a blender and blend until incorporated. To a large ziplock bag add the chicken and enough of the jerk sauce to completely cover the chicken. Smash it around in the bag so that the sauce covers every piece of chicken, Refrigerate at least 4 hours, overnight is even better.

Grilling the chicken

  1. After the chicken has been marinating for at least four hours, remove from refrigerator. Place 4 to 6 pieces on your wet bamboo skewer. Either grill, broil in the oven, or grill on the stovetop -- I highly recommend grilling. When the grill is hot, brush with oil and place each skewer on the grill. Baste with more jerk sauce. Depending on your grill, it should only take 3 minutes per side.

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