Usually made with fiery scotch bonnet chillies, jerk chicken is a barbecued marinated chicken from sunny Jamaica. 






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (7 votes)

Guy Turland serves this up with a fruity pineapple salsa - a great way accompaniment to the mildly spicy chicken.


  • 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) chicken drumsticks, wings or whole butterflied chicken

Jerk marinade 

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cm (1½ inch) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1½ tsp ground allspice
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) rum 
  • 2½ tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 100 g (3½ oz) barbecue sauce
  • 1 handful thyme, leaves picked
  • 4 coriander (cilantro) roots


Pineapple salsa

  • 300 g (10½ oz) pineapple, cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) thick batons
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 small handful mint, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 small handful coriander (cilantro), leaves finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 limes, zest
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 50 ml (1½ fl oz/2½ tbsp) olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinading time: overnight

Resting time: 5 minutes

To make the marinade, put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until combined.

Put the chicken in a baking dish or ziptop  plastic bag. Add the jerk marinade and massage into the chicken. Cover or seal and put in the fridge overnight to marinate.

Preheat half the grill to medium-high heat. Leaving the spice rub on the chicken, put it on the grill and cook for 5–8 minutes, or until the skin begins to colour and char. Turn the chicken and continue moving it on the grill for 5 minutes, or until it is caramelised and evenly coloured.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, close the lid and continue to cook for 10–15 minutes, turning and checking every 5 minutes, until cooked or a thermometer inserted into the meat reaches 75°C (165°F). Set aside to rest, covered with foil, for 5 minutes before serving.

To make the pineapple salsa, clean the barbecue down, put the pineapple batons on it and cook until charred and warmed through. Dice the pineapple and transfer to a medium bowl.

Add the avocado, onion, mint, coriander, jalapeno, garlic and lime zest and mix gently. Shake together the orange juice and olive oil and pour over the salsa. Season with salt and pepper and toss through.

Serve the chicken with salsa on the side, lots of napkins and a bowl for the bones.