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Slate plate of spicy grilled jerk chicken drumsticks garnished with chopped parsley and fresh lime.


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Marinating time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour + marinating time
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x



This spicy grilled jerk chicken is made with a spicy/sweet marinade and then grilled to tender, flavorful perfection.



12 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)

6 scallions, cut into large pieces

4 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 habanero or scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and deveined

2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

⅓ cup fresh lime juice

⅓ cup fresh orange juice

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cumin


Place the chicken drumsticks in a large non-reactive container with a tight-fitting lid or in a large ziptop bag.

In a blender or a food processor, combine the scallions, garlic, peppers, ginger, lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, thyme, black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin.  Blend or pulse until the vegetables are chopped finely and the mixture is combined.

Pour the marinade over the chicken, turning to make sure all the chicken is covered with marinade.  Place the cover or seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat your gas grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees).  Lightly oil the grill grates with vegetable oil.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the drumstick registers 165 degrees – about 40 minutes.

Remove from the grill and serve warm.

  • Category: Main Dish - Chicken
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Jamaican

Keywords: spicy grilled jerk chicken, grilled chicken, Jamaican recipes, Caribbean recipes, Jerk recipes, spicy food