• Prep Time
    30 MINUTES
  • Cook Time
    45 MINUTES
  • View


Jerked chicken is ubiquitous in Jamaica.  There were several movies filmed in Jamaica that I thought of when preparing this Jerked Chicken.  The most obvious was How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998), but having been to Jamaica about 20 times in the past 15 years, and having failed resolutely to get my groove back, I looked for more relatable options.  (Maybe I never lost my groove).  Dr. No (1962) was a contender with Ursula Andress emerging from the surf at Falmouth in that amazing white bikini.  Decades later, No Time To Die (2021) brought James Bond back to Jamaica, this time to Port San Antonio.  Cocktail (1988) with Tom Cruise filmed at the Sandals Royal Plantation resort in Ocho Rios was another option (been there, done that, too many tipsy honeymooners for me).  And then there was Papillon (1973) with those breathtaking scenes of the cliffs in Negril but entirely too much deprivation and hardship to go with this indulgent dish.  So, I settled for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, filmed in 1954 at or near the Caves in Negril, an amazing place where I used to go with my former fiance.  I would like to mention that the film held up better than the relationship.  You do need to search out the Grace products I’ve used in this recipe, either on the internet or – better idea – on your next trip to Jamaica.



    You can marinate the chicken in the jerk sauce all night, the longer the better. Just be sure to reserve at least a cup of the sauce before you put the chicken in it to marinate --mix the reserved sauce with catsup and mop it on the chicken while you're grilling. And be sure to grill properly so you don't have rubbery skin.

    Step 1

    Make the jerk sauce in your food processor. Put the vinegar, water, onion, garlic, celery, ginger, scallions, orange peel and spices and everything except the catsup in the food processer and on high process until you have a thick sauce.

    Step 2

    Reserve about a cup of the sauce. Put the chicken and the rest of the sauce in a plastic bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours minimum or overnight.

    Step 3

    Add the catsup to the sauce. The ratio of catsup to sauce should be about one third. If you want a sweeter sauce, add more catsup.

    Step 4

    Grill over medium high heat for about 45 minutes, turning and mopping every five minutes or so.

    Step 5

    Let rest 5 to 10 minutes.


    In Jamaica you might get peas and rice on the side of jerked anything. But, I like to serve this with potato salad or alongside or atop a Caesar salad. A nice not too dry white wine would be perfect with this spicy chicken.

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