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Oven Roasted Jerk Chicken is seasoned to spicy perfection and is just so juicy! In just 1 hour, you’ll have moist, flavorful chicken seasoned with a collection of Caribbean spices and marinated for maximum moisture. 

Overhead view jerk chicken thighs and legs on a platter.

“Jerk” refers to a cooking method that originated with The Taíno, a people indigenous to the Caribbean that are now extinct due to disease brought to them by European colonizers. The Taíno taught their method of seasoning, smoking, and grilling chicken to African slaves on the island of Jamaica. The seasonings used in the jerk method were all native to the island of Jamaica and this blend is now known as Jerk Seasoning.

Did you know that jerk-style cooking isn’t at all limited to poultry? While this seasoning blend was originally used on chicken and pork, you can use it on any protein! Fish, beef, even tofu and vegetables are great candidates for this sweet yet spicy Caribbean style. But in our house, we just love baked chicken. We eat it all the time! And this easy jerk chicken recipe is a great way to spice things up and serve up something out of the ordinary. You can make our jerk dry seasoning blend in double quantities, store in an airtight container, and use at your leisure for up to a year on any meats or veggies that can use some extra flavor. 

This is not an authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken as it is not smoked or grilled, but rather an oven roasted version. The Stay At Home Chef uses ingredients that are easily accessible for most people in the United States and Canada, so that our audience can easily celebrate world cuisines even if their opportunities for travel or access to regional ingredients are limited. For a wet Jamaican Jerk sauce, check out Jamaican food blogger Jessica in the Kitchen’s recipe. For a more traditional grilled version, try Immaculate Bite’s delicious recipe.

Spice Level Adjustments: 

This is a traditionally spicy dish. The scotch bonnet peppers, or habañeros, give it a real kick! Luckily, this easy jerk chicken recipe is also easy enough to make more or less spicy depending on your preferences. 1 pepper will keep things pretty mild — just be sure to remove the seeds! They hold all of the spice.

Use 3 peppers for the standard level of heat. Of course, you can always add more. But try starting with 3 — it might be spicier than you expect!

The Best Cuts for Baked Chicken:

We use a mix of thighs and legs. They’re a bit fattier, which makes them juicier and more flavorful. But chicken breasts are fine to use as well! Keep in mind that cooking time will vary from cut to cut, so it’s extra important to keep an eye on that internal temperature when using a variety of cuts. A digital meat thermometer will help you keep track!

Is Jerk Chicken Supposed To Be Sweet? 

It is a bit sweet, but not overly so. The sweetness comes from a mixture of brown sugar in the dry seasoning and the orange juice in the marinade. However, we’re only using a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and a half cup of orange juice. So it certainly shouldn’t be overly sweet! 

If you’re worried about the sweetness, reduce the amount of sugar by a tablespoon. You can also use fresh squeezed orange juice, which tends to be less sweet than the concentrate you’d buy in the store.

Can I Make This Recipe on the Grill or in an Air Fryer? 

You sure can! Not only is it easy to do, but it’s actually quicker than baking. It is slightly more hands-on, however, so pay attention to the changes in the recipe.

For the grill, set it to high heat. For the air fryer, preheat to 400 degrees. Using either method, cook for 12-18 minutes until you reach that safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. Flip halfway through the cooking time to make sure the meat browns evenly on all sides.

Serving Suggestions:

So many sides go well with this easy jerk chicken recipe!

Overhead view of oven roasted jerk chicken on a dinner plate.

Storing and Reheating Instructions:

Leftover poultry can keep in the fridge for up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container. Remember: reheat meat only once! Store in separate containers and reheat separately if you want to break leftovers into multiple meals.

To reheat leftovers, preheat your oven to 400 and bake for 10-15 minutes — just until warmed through to the center. Don’t overcook it by reheating, or it will dry out! Simply bake until warm, and you’re good to go.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious chicken recipes:

Watch the video below where Caytlin will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Overhead view jerk chicken thighs and legs on a platter.
Oven Roasted Jerk Chicken is seasoned to spicy perfection and is just so juicy! In just 1 hour, you’ll have moist, flavorful chicken seasoned with a collection of Caribbean spices and marinated for maximum moisture. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinate 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 10 chicken pieces thighs, drumsticks and bone in breast
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme fresh, leaves plucked off
  • 1-3 scotch bonnet pepper seeded, based on your heat preference
  • 1 bunch green onions roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

Jerk Dry Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground utmeg
Instructions
  • In a small mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, allspice, thyme, parsley, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until combined.
  • In a food processor combine fresh thyme, pepper, green onions, soy sauce, orange juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, and half of the dry jerk seasonings. Process until the mixture is nearly smooth. Can be a little lumpy.
  • Place chicken in a dish or bag and pour marinade over the chicken and make sure to coat all sides. Let marinate for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Line up chicken pieces on the prepared tray. Lightly sprinkle with remaining dry jerk seasoning.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F for light meat and 175 degrees F for dark meat.
Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece of chicken | Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 550mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 304IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: Jerk Chicken
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