Easy Grilled Jerk Chicken is full of authentic jerk flavor and low on calories for a delicious variation from your weeknight chicken routine! Your friends & family won’t believe how simple this recipe is to make, if you share your secret that is!
Nice weather is just around the corner and I don’t know about you but Im ready for some simple grilled recipes that are light and are packed full of flavor! This easy grilled jerk chicken is just what I’ve been craving.
I love winter and all of the comfort foods that keep me warm and cozy, but my waistline needs a little lighter fare. This grilled jerk chicken makes me happy to when I eat it because although its a healthier and lighter option it still is packed with great flavor!
What does it mean to jerk chicken?
Jerk is a Jamaican concept and refers to how you spice the chicken. It usually includes allspice and habanero chilis. In Jamaica, it is cooked over wood over an open flame, although in my recipe its made over a regular grill.
How do you make grilled jerk chicken?
- Make a jerk spice mixture: using spices you probably have in your pantry you create a jam packed flavor profile (thyme, allspice, cloves, salt, pepper and brown sugar.)
- To those spices add the wet ingredients: (minced garlic, minced onions, rum (optional) olive oil, water, lime juice and soy sauce) Stir to combine them thoroughly.
- Marinate in a ziplock bag: To the bag you’ll add the chicken you plan to grill and pour the marinade over it making sure to get it all coated. Seal that bag and let it marinate for a minimum of 1 hour. I have you covered if you are afraid of the heat of the habanero. You clean out the seeds and just put the sliced peppers in while it marinates. When you grill the chicken you toss away the pepper. Some heat moves over but not so much that your mouth will be on fire.
- Grill the chicken low and slow: By grilling it on low, the marinade doesn’t burn off and the authentic jerk chicken flavor really stays on the chicken. You can see in this photo how the seasoning is still present and didnt burn off because it was cooked on low.
I’m showing this easy grilled chicken sliced over simple salad greens but it also works well over rice and you can serve it with a Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce like this one over the top. The cucumber yogurt sauce is also low in calories and it will also cool the heat of the habanero pepper if you need it too!
Easy Grilled Jerk Chicken
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 small onion minced
- 3 tablespoons rum optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 habanero chili seeds removed, cut in half
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Into a small bowl add dry ingredients (thyme, allspice, cloves, salt, pepper and brown sugar.) Stir until well combined. Add the minced garlic, minced onions, rum (optional) olive oil, water, lime juice and soy sauce. Mix well.
- Place chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag, then dump the spice/liquid mixture over the top. (If chicken pieces are very thick, you can lightly pound them first).
- Add the habanero chili pieces to the bag. (See notes about level of heat.)
- Press out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Using your hands, massage the marinade into the chicken so it is completely coated.
- Place the bag into the fridge for a minimum of one hour or up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, remove the bag from the fridge while you preheat your grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees).
- Using tongs, place the chicken breasts on the hot grill cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F; about 10 minutes per side. Thicker pieces may take longer. Resist the urge to turn the heat to high as it could burn the marinade.
- Cooking low and slow gives you moist on the inside and a flavor crust on the outside.
Are you looking for other easy, healthy grilled recipes? Check out these flavorful recipes that you can make in no time!
Looking for more great chicken recipes?
- Crispy Fried Cajun Chicken Tenders
- Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken Drumsticks
- Crispy Garlic Parmesan Baked Chicken