Hot Jerk Chicken

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Ingredients (15)

  • 3 Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, stemmed
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, picked leaves and tender stems
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 whole chicken legs
  • Rice, beans, and plantains, for serving
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Nutritional Information
  • Calories314
  • Fat22.78g
  • Saturated fat6.1g
  • Trans fat0.09g
  • Carbs3.0g
  • Fiber0.81g
  • Sugar0.8g
  • Protein23.43g
  • Cholesterol127.97mg
  • Sodium467.24mg
  • Nutritional Analysis per serving (20 servings) Powered by

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Hot Jerk Chicken

This recipe by Shani Jones for hot jerk chicken will bring a healthy tear to your eye and may require a glass of milk or some rice on the side. The dish comes from “We Are La Cocina: Recipes In Pursuit Of The American Dream” the very first cookbook released by an organization called La Cocina (The Kitchen in Spanish) in San Francisco that incubates food brands, businesses, and restaurants. This Jamaican meal is one of 75 recipes contributed by different alumni of the organization, and the only special equipment you need to make it is a good food processor.


  1. 1In a food processor, pulse the chile, onions, green onions, garlic, black pepper, salt, allspice, nutmeg, and thyme into a coarse paste.
  2. 2Transfer the chile mixture to a bowl and combine with the lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, and oil. (The mixture will be very spicy; be careful while handling, and work in a well-ventilated area.)
  3. 3Place the chicken legs in a large glass dish and pour the jerk marinade on top, turning to completely coat the chicken.
  4. 4Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight.
  5. 5Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C) and lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. 6Put the marinated chicken on the pan and pour any remaining marinade over the top.
  7. 7Bake until the chicken is cooked through (a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160˚F (70˚C)) and lightly charred in spots, 40 to 45 minutes.
  8. 8Serve with rice and beans and fried sweet plantains.

Reprinted from We Are La Cocina by Leticia Landa and Caleb Zigas with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019
Photography by Eric Wolfinger

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