Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs Recipe (Oven Method)

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Jamaican jerk chicken thighs is a flavorful and satisfying dish that will leave you wanting more. The spice blend used in this recipe packs quite the punch, but it’s simple to make, so even those without any culinary experience can attempt this recipe!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs Recipe (Oven Method)

Our Jamaican jerk chicken recipe is perfect for anyone who loves flavorful and spicy foods. The spice blend cooks up into an addictive and satisfying dish, without a bunch of unhealthy oils and fats. The bold flavors of the Caribbean will make your taste buds dance, and you’ll be sure to impress any dinner guests with your culinary skills. Now let’s get on with it!

While grilling is the traditional method for making Jamaican jerk chicken we’re going to sear then bake these thighs to perfection. This recipe is adapted from DaVonn Francis’ recipe from Bon Apetit. We love his technique of charring the chicken on the stovetop before baking to replicate the grilling method.

What is Jamaican Jerk Style Cooking?

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica, in which meat (usually chicken or pork) can be dry-rubbed or wet marinated with hot spice mixture called “Jamaican jerk”. The art form originated when Amerindians mixed from Arawak and Taíno tribes intermingled by Maroons.

The resulting dish has an amazing smoky taste thanks largely due its use some type on firewood. The smoky taste achieved through this cuisine originates mostly thanks the use different methods including modern wood burning ovens while also utilizing allspice berries along side Scotch bonnet peppers for added spice and flavor.

Is Jamaican Jerk Chicken Healthy?

Jamaican jerk chicken is not only delicious, but it also has a number of health benefits. The allspice in the marinade has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and the chili peppers can help to boost your metabolism. So not only will you enjoy this dish, but it may also help you to stay healthy! Plus our recipe uses very little oil and you can always trim off any extra fat on the chicken thighs before brining.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs Recipe (Oven Method) ingredients

Ingredients needed for Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs:

Dry Brine Ingredients

allspice berries – You can use whole allspice berries or ground allspice. Allspice has an earthy sweet flavor and in our opinion is the main flavor profile in this dish.
orange zest
salt
brown sugar – light or dark

Wet Jerk Paste Ingredients

habanero or scotch bonnet peppers – This dish is traditionally made with scotch bonnet peppers but you can also use habanero peppers. If you prefer less spice, seed and devein each pepper or even use less.
green onions – chopped
paprika
nutmeg
fresh thyme – stems included
allspice berries
fresh ginger – a 1/2 inch knob will do. Be sure to peel and chop.
fresh garlic gloves – You can leave whole since we will be blending.
brown sugar – light or dark
browning sauce – We like to use this brand.
kosher salt and black pepper
fresh lime juice
canola oil – Look for a non-gmo canola oil as it is less processed and a bit healthier.
soy sauce – Regular or reduced sodium.
cloves – just a few!

What Type of Chicken to Use?

For this recipe we’re using bone-in, skin on chicken thighs. We chose thighs because they are rich in flavor and less likely to dry out. This dish is traditionally made with dark cuts of meat but you can use any cut of chicken you’d like. Even whole!

How to Make Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs

Dry Brine Instructions

Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Due to the increased chance of cross-contamination we do not wash our chicken. This is personal preference so wash away if you so choose! Traditionally, chicken is washed with water and either lime juice or vinegar and then allowed to drain.

In small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, orange zest and allspice berries. Sprinkle chicken generously with brine mixture, rubbing into and under the skin.

Place your chicken on a rack and place it in the refrigerator, uncovered for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight but no longer than that.

If time permits, remove rack from the fridge and allow the chicken to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Jerk Paste Instructions

Place peppers, green onions, paprika, nutmeg, cloves, thyme, allspice, ginger, garlic cloves, brown sugar, browning sauce, salt, pepper, lime juice, oil and soy sauce into a blender or food processor. Blend until it’s smooth paste.

Coat chicken thighs generously with jerk paste. Reserve some of the paste to use as a basting sauce during cooking.

Turn on your stove’s air vent (you’ll need it!). On medium-high heat, allow a large cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan to come up to temp. Place chicken skin side down. Sear chicken for 4-6 minutes, flip and sear the other side for 3 – 5 minutes. While the second side is searing, baste the chicken with some of the reserved jerk paste.

Transfer skillet to oven, leaving uncovered and bake chicken for 20 – 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. The chicken is done when it reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove pan from oven and lest rest 10-12 minutes before serving. Transfer to a platter, top with green onions and serve with jerk chicken dipping sauce and lime wedges. Enjoy!

See our comprehensive guide on how to clean your cast iron skillet after making these delicious chicken thighs!

Note: Have leftover chicken? Then make these delicious jerk chicken egg rolls!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs Recipe (Oven Method) recipe

Tips for Success

  • Marinate the chicken: Marinate the chicken in the jerk seasoning mixture for at least a few hours or overnight to ensure that the flavors penetrate the meat.
  • Use a meat thermometer: Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (75°C).
  • Rest before serving: Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and keep it moist.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken FAQs

What are the main ingredients in Jamaican jerk chicken?

The key ingredients in Jamaican jerk chicken include Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice berries, thyme, garlic, ginger, onion, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Other optional ingredients include cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

What can I serve with Jamaican jerk chicken?

Jamaican jerk chicken is often served with rice and peas, a traditional Jamaican side dish made with rice, kidney beans, coconut milk, and spices. Other side dishes that pair well with Jamaican jerk chicken include plantains, coleslaw, roasted vegetables, or a salad.

How spicy is Jamaican jerk chicken?

Jamaican jerk chicken can be quite spicy due to the use of Scotch bonnet or Habanero peppers in the marinade. However, the level of spiciness can be adjusted to taste by using fewer peppers or removing the seeds and membranes from the peppers before using them in the marinade.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some chicken and get cooking! You won’t regret it – this jerk chicken recipe is sure to spice up your life in the best way possible.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs

Posted by Dee
This Jamaican jerk chicken recipe is perfect for anyone who loves flavorful food. The chicken is cooked in a flavorful spice blend, and it's fairly simple to make.
5 from 55 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 5 Servings
Difficulty Medium

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 5 Chicken Thighs, Bone-in, with skin

Dry Brine

  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Wet Jerk Paste

  • 2 habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and deveined
  • 3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, stems included
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp browning sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • pinch of cloves, about 3-4

Instructions
 

Dry Brine Instructions

  • Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel.
  • In small bowl, combine dry brine ingredients: salt, brown sugar, orange zest and allspice.
  • Sprinkle chicken generously with brine mixture, rubbing into and under the skin.
  • Place your chicken on a rack and place it in the refrigerator, uncovered for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight but no longer than that.
  • Remove rack from the fridge and allow the chicken to come to room temperature if time permits.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F

Jerk Paste Instructions

  • Put all of the wet jerk paste ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Coat chicken thighs generously with paste. Reserve some of the paste to use as a basting sauce during cooking.
  • Turn on your stove's air vent. On medium-high heat, allow a large cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan to come up to temp. Place chicken skin side down.
  • Sear chicken for 4-6 minutes, flip and sear the other side for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • While the second side is searing, baste the chicken with some of the reserved jerk paste.
  • Transfer skillet to oven, leaving uncovered and bake chicken for 20 – 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165°F).
  • Remove pan from oven and lest rest 10-12 minutes before serving.
  • Transfer to a platter, top with green onions and serve with jerk chicken dipping sauce. See notes.

Notes

Serve with our homemade spicy mango pineapple dipping sauce. It’s delicious!
Keyword chicken
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Meet Dee

Meet Dee

I love to share recipes with real ingredients that are both sweet and savory (especially sweet:) My mission with Gimme From Scratch is to inspire you with recipes that will bring your families together in the kitchen. I'm introverted at heart but know how important socializing can be for maintaining good relationships, when writing not only am looking forward to sharing information - It's also building connections between readers who love good food as much as I do!

14 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    I made these chicken thighs for dinner last night and they were incredible! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  2. Oh man, my mouth watered the whole time I read your post. I love the bright and sassy flavours of jerk chicken and this recipe is legit. Scotch Bonnets all the way!

  3. 5 stars
    The worst part of this recipe was that I had to wait to eat it, the odor wafting as it cooked was absolutely mouth watering and the taste was just as wonderful!

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh, this dish looks so easy and delicious. Such a perfect dish to make for tonight’s dinner.

  5. 5 stars
    These thighs were so, so flavor-packed! I had never had jerk chicken before but have always been curious. I’m so glad I tried your recipe! They are delicious. Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    The recipe was easy to follow, and I appreciated the clear and concise instructions that made it simple to create this mouthwatering dish in my own kitchen. The combination of spices, herbs, and a touch of sweetness created a complex and delicious flavor that was both spicy and savory.

    I loved how the chicken thighs were perfectly cooked and tender, with a crispy exterior that added some great texture to the dish. And the best part? It was a healthier alternative to the traditional fried version, as it was cooked in the oven.

  7. 5 stars
    Wow! This chicken recipe looks absolutely delicious! The presentation makes it so appealing! The juiciness just makes this so enticing and tempting! Loved it!

  8. 5 stars
    we love jerk chicken. had the best in Hamaica off a street vendor. yours look so so good. I just love the caramelization that happen on the surface! well done going to give this recipe a try! 😋 ❤️

  9. 5 stars
    Wow! Putting together the ingredients for the Wet Jerk Paste I knew it was going to be absolutely delicious. So many flavors beautifully combined. Thanks for such a great recipe!

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