Jerk Chicken is marinated for hours and finished on the grill for a seriously delicious slightly charred flavor. And of course it’s just that much better when you take the extra time to make the Mango Avocado Salsa and Coconut Rice to pair with it!
The fusion of Jamaican island flavors here is most definitely set to impress. It’s a meal you’ll crave and want to make again and again!
What better way to get in the summer mood than to grill up a fresh tropical meal? Of course this chicken is good on its own when you don’t have time to make the salsa or rice and you can just serve it with sauteed or steamed veggies. But everything is better when there’s avocado involved, right?
Adjust the Heat Level as Desired
As far as heat goes, I have to make this recipe to be edible to my kids so I just use a jalapeño pepper (and I actually do leave the seeds and it’s not too spicy for them, the salsa tones down the spice of the jalapeno). But if you like really spicy foods you can go with the more traditional scotch bonnet pepper or a habanero pepper for lots of heat.
Jerk Chicken Marinade Ingredients
This is a simple marinade that packs bold flavors. It combines:
- fresh onions, garlic and ginger (fresh flavor)
- herbs and sweet spices (flavor)
- soy sauce (saltiness and depth)
- peppers (heat)
- brown sugar (sweetness)
- lime (tang)
How to Make Jerk Chicken
- For chicken breasts, pound them out to even thickness. Leave thighs as is.
- Place chicken breasts in a gallon size resealable bag.
- Add remaining marinade ingredients to a food processor and chop.
- Pour marinade over chicken and refrigerate 4 – 8 hours.
- Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Oil grill grates.
- Grill to 165 degrees in center, about 4 – 5 minutes per side.
- Serve warm over Coconut Rice and topped with Mango Avocado Salsa.
Tips for This Recipe
- Make it spicer with various peppers as desired. Here’s a pepper scale to refer too.
- Be sure to use gloves when handling the peppers as they have oils in them (called capsaicinin) that can damage and really sting your eyes if you touch them – even after you’ve washed your hands.
- Let marinate at least 4 hours. This really allows time for those flavors to soak into the chicken.
- Use chicken breasts or thighs in this recipe.
- Don’t omit ingredients in the marinade for best flavor. Everything together builds layers of flavor in this dish.
The Perfect Summer Meal
Isn’t summer just dreamy? Warm sunshine, beach days, picnics at the park, scenic hikes, and food like this! And have I said yet that I love mango season?
Because I really love when good fresh mangos are in season! And I want to eat them on everything which I why they’re even going in my dinner a lot lately. They were made for this jerk chicken!
More Grilled Chicken Recipes to Try
- Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken
- Grilled Moroccan Chicken
- Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce
Jerk Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa and Coconut Rice
Chicken is marinated for hours and finished on the grill for a seriously delicious slightly charred flavor. And of course it's just that much better when you take the extra time to make the Mango Avocado Salsa and Coconut Rice to pair with it!
The fusion of Jamaican island flavors here is most definitely set to impress. It's a meal you'll crave and want to make again and again!
Chicken and Marinade
- 1 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 8 green onions, roots trimmed, chopped into thirds (or sub. 1/2 medium red onion)
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed, chopped into thirds*
- 1- inch knob ginger peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for grill
- 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Mango Avocado Salsa, see notes
Coconut Rice, see notes
If using chicken breasts pound thicker parts with the flat side of a meat mallet to even out their thickness (thighs don't need to be pounded).
Place chicken breasts in a gallon size resealable bag.
Add remaining marinade ingredients to a food processor and plus several times to chop (it should be somewhat coarse).
Pour marinade over chicken in bag and rub marinade over chicken, seal bag, transfer to refrigerator and allow to marinate at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.
Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to about 400 degrees.
Brush grill grates with oil then place chicken on grill.
Grill until center of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 4 - 5 minutes per side.
Remove from grill, cover to keep warm and let rest 5 minutes. Serve warm over Coconut Rice and top with Mango Avocado Salsa.
- *If you like really hot spicy things a seeded scotch bonnet or habanero pepper can be used.
- Be sure to use gloves when handling peppers.
- Follow link HERE for Coconut Rice Recipe and Avocado Mango Salsa Recipe.
- Recipe does not include nutrition for Coconut Rice and Avocado Salsa.