Grilled Island-Style Chicken with Jerk Marinade

Here is a recipe adapted from MMMMiami by Carole Kotkin and Kathy Martin.


Jerk Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (preferably dark)
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon dry-leaf thyme, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, washed and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper or 3 or more jalapenos, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

For the Chicken:

  • 3-1/2 pounds of chicken legs


For the marinade: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate up to two weeks.

For the chicken: Rinse the chicken well. Trim and discard any excess fat. Place the chicken in a non-reactive container and add the marinade. Seal and refrigerate for 2 hours or for as long as 24 hours, turning occasionally to distribute the marinade.

When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and bring to room temperature. Discard the marinade. Grill over charcoal, gas, or under the broiler, turning occasionally until the chicken is cooked through. To check for doneness, cut into the chicken at its thickest point; the juices should be clear and the meat tender.