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Recipes for Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Curry Chicken


I have been asked many times to share our Jamaican recipes with the world, and I have decided to do just that. Jamaica is the land of wood and water. We take pride in our culture and our food is a big part of that culture.

Our cuisine is world-class and many people around the world love it. Here are two Jamaican chicken recipes that you can make at home from scratch. They are not very hard to make, and they can be done in less than two hours.

Jerk chicken and curry chicken are two Jamaican classics. I will give you an estimated time when each dish can be completed.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

25 min

45 min

1 hour 10 min


Easy Jerk Chicken Recipe

Chicken Ingredients:

Chicken prep time 5-8 minutes.

  • 1 whole chicken quartered (or cut into your preferred sizes)
  • A coal or gas grill
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or lime juice
  • Paper towel
  • 6 cups water

Seasoning Ingredients:

For the seasoning, prep time 15 minutes.

  • 2 medium onions shredded
  • 3 large stalks scallion mashed in a mortar
  • Large branch of fresh thyme or 2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves (if using fresh thyme break up the sprigs and get off as many leaves as possible)
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper deseeded or your preferred hot pepper finely minced
  • 1 head of garlic peeled and crushed to a paste
  • 3 tablespoons pimento seeds ground coarsely or ½ tablespoon pimento powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, grounded

OR just use a couple of tablespoons of the prepared jerk spice!


  1. Combine all your seasonings together in a large bowl and set aside. After dissecting your chicken, rinse it in water and the vinegar or lime juice solution, then pat dry with paper towel. Add chicken to seasoning and use your hands to rub seasoning into each piece of chicken until all pieces are coated. Marinate chicken while you fire up your grill.
  2. When grill is very hot, you can place your chicken on.
  3. If using a gas grill, leave the flames on medium-low. If using coal, make sure that you are not using too many coals because you'll burn the chicken. Keep the lid on the gill covered so that the moisture remains in the chicken. If your coals are too hot, consider using a spray bottle to mist the coals to cool them down, you can also use beer for this. The smoke from the beer and the coals give a great flavor.
  4. Keep turning your chicken until all sides have a nice dark color. You will know when your chicken is done when a fork is inserted and the juices run clear or if there is no fluid at all. Enjoy.

Note: Vinegar or lime juice solution consists of 4 cups water to 1/2 cup vinegar or juice of two limes to three cups water.


Bonus: Curry Chicken Recipe

Curry Chicken Ingredients

Curry Powder Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds roughly grounded
  • ½ tsp. coriander seeds roughly grounded
  • ½ tsp. pimento seed roughly grounded
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds roughly grounded
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Curry Powder Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. After using what you need, store remainder in an airtight container.
  • You can double or triple the recipe so you will have curry for a while. If you like your curry bright yellow, you can use more turmeric.
  • Prep time 10 minutes with mortar & pestle and a few seconds with an electric grinder.

Season Your Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken cut into small pieces; for example cut the thigh into three pieces and cut the rest of the chicken into similar sizes. (Remove skin and excess fat from chicken when cutting.)
  • 2 stalks scallion chopped
  • 1 stem fresh thyme
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 green scotch bonnet pepper seeded and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil

Prep time 15 minutes


  1. Cut your chicken in two, and clean the inside by removing excess fat and the organs in the backbone.
  2. Add vinegar to water and submerse your chicken, rinse and drain.
  3. Cut your chicken into small (two bite sizes, if you cut the chicken too small your curry will become too mushy).
  4. Place your chicken pieces in a bowl and add 2 teaspoons curry, salt, pepper, onion, scallion, thyme, and garlic.
  5. Using your hands, rub seasoning into chicken pieces.
  6. In a pot, heat oil over medium flames. When oil is heated, add chicken to pot and cover for five minutes then stir chicken to coat in oil and curry. Continue turning over chicken for three minutes and replace lid. Turn flames down to medium low and let chicken steam its own juices, all the while stirring. Add water only if the chicken gets too dry but with the right temperature your chicken should be cooking in its own juices and making its own gravy.
  7. Cook chicken for 25-30 minutes or until tender.

Total prep time under 60 minutes.

© 2012 Carolee Samuda