You want this juicy, smoky chicken. You really do.  






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (15 votes)

When I went to Jamaica, I found this place called Scotchies. It's this beautiful outdoor kitchen with pimento wood smoking. I fell in love the first time that I bit into that juicy, smoky, slow-cooked chicken leg. The aroma, the smokiness, the spice! I want to share that experience with you, but still make it my own. So here it is. I've made this very spicy, so I've used 3 scotch bonnets. Be warned. I like it spicy. You don't have to make it spicy. It's up to you. 


  • ½ cup canola oil, divided
  • 2 bunches pring onions (scallions)
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 15 cm (6 inch) piece ginger, peeled
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) soy sauce
  • 6 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cherry chillies, roughly chopped (or use pimentos or other mild chillies) (see Note)
  • 3 habanero chillies, chopped (see Note)
  • 3 Scotch bonnet chillies, roughly chopped (see Note)
  • 1 jalapeno chilli, chopped
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 6-8 whole chicken legs

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.


Marinating time: 24 hours

Resting time: 10 minutes

Place half the oil plus the scallions, garlic onion, and ginger in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then place the soy sauce, allspice, cinnamon, chillies and thyme in the blender with the remaining oil. Blend until smooth, then transfer to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add the chicken and coat completely. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.

Heat a barbecue. Add the chicken, wiping off any excess marinade, and grill until charred on the outside but cooked in the middle (a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken should read 73°C / 165°F), about 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes, then serve.



• You can use milder chillies, or remove the seeds before blending, if you want to tone down the heat.