Amazing Baked Jerk Chicken. Marinated overnight then baked in the oven until tender, juicy and crispy on the outside. Prep takes just 10 minutes, then let the oven do the rest of the work for you!
Oven-Baked Jerk Chicken
It’s a lot easier to make Jerk Chicken at home than you think. The trick to making oven baked jerk chicken is to marinate it overnight and then broil it in the oven for a crispy caramelized skin.
The flavor comes from the marinade which is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. Sweet from the molasses and spicy from the habanero.
This recipe is a great make ahead meal. The night before throw all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor pulse them up and threw them in a ziplock bag along with the chicken. When it’s time for dinner take the chicken out of the marinade and bake!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chicken: The best cuts of meat to use for baking Jerk Chicken in the oven are chicken thighs and drumsticks. They stay nice and juicy! On the other hand, chicken breast can dry out quickly when it’s overcooked so I’d avoid using breast meat.
- Molasses: Sticky and sweet, molasses caramelizes the chicken skin beautifully in the oven.
- Lime: Lime is added to the marinade and can also be squeezed on top at the end for garnish. If you can’t find lime, lemon would be fine!
- Hot peppers: The chicken gets its spice from the habanero pepper. I added in two and deseed them. You can always add in one or omit it if you don’t like the heat. If the sauce is too spicy for you add a little extra lime juice to balance out the heat.
- Ginger: Ginger also adds a little spice, but is really there for the flavor! I recommend fresh ginger because it tastes much better than powdered.
- Garlic: I love fresh garlic in just about any savory recipe! Feel free to add more!
- Seasoning: Allspice, onion powder, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme are key ingredients in Jamaican jerk seasoning, so I added them individually to the marinade.
How do you make Jamaican Jerk Chicken in the oven?
- Make the marinade: Add oil, molasses, lime juice, habanero peppers, ginger, garlic and spices to a food processor and pulse until combined. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade, set aside.
- Marinate: Pour the rest of the marinade into a large ziplock bag along with the chicken. Marinate for at least and hour or preferably overnight.
- Bake: When you are ready to bake the jerk chicken, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place the chicken in a cast-iron skillet or oven safe pan. Cook for 1 hour or until chicken is fully cooked. Take out of the oven and brush on the reserved marinade.
- Broil chicken: Turn oven to broil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy. (Make sure to keep a close eye on it so it does not burn.)
- Serve: Immediately with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges for serving.
Tips for Success
- Don’t skip the marinating. It makes the baked jerk chicken super tender and adds so much flavor. The longer you marinate the chicken the better!
- I recommend using chicken thighs or drumsticks in this recipe. They have more fat and will keep the chicken from drying out.
- If you can’t find habanero peppers you can substitute scotch bonnets. Just adjust to taste. Scotch bonnets tend to be a bit spicier.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Reheat by baking the chicken in the oven until it is piping hot. I prefer reheating it in the oven because the microwave can make the skin soggy.
What sides go with Jamaican Jerk Chicken?
- Avocado Corn Black Bean Salsa
- Coconut Rice
- Green Rice
- Garlic Fried Rice
- Peach Salsa
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Roasted Veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, or potatoes.
Is jerk chicken wet or dry?
The marinade for Jamaican Jerk Chicken is wet, however, a dry rub (Jamaican jerk seasoning or Jamaican jerk spice) can be used instead.
Is jerk chicken healthy?
Yes, jerk chicken is a healthy meal, whether it’s baked in the oven or grilled. Although the marinade does have some sugar from the molasses in it, it is minimal when spread over several chicken thighs and drumsticks. The rest of the ingredients are natural spices, herbs, and seasoning.
Why do they call it jerk chicken?
The word “jerk” originates from the Spanish word “charqui” which simply means “dried strips of meat” i.e. jerky. Just like jerky, jerk chicken is loaded with spiced and flavor before cooking it on the grill or baking it in the oven. The spices overlap and they have similar tastes.
Here are more delicious chicken recipes to try!
- Easy Chicken Marsala
- The BEST Chicken Parmesan
- Easy Chicken Shawarma
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Easy One Pan Bourbon Chicken
- Easy Thai Chicken Satay
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a review! This helps other readers and my website! I love to hear your feedback!
Baked Jerk Chicken
- 3 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks skin on and bone in
- lime wedges for serving, if desired
- chopped cilantro for serving, if desired
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 habanero peppers stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger half a knob
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Add all of the marinade ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade.
- Pour into a large ziplock bag along with the chicken. Marinade for at least and hour or preferably overnight.
- When you are ready to cook preheat oven to 350 degrees.Take the chicken out of the marinade and place the chicken in a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan.Cook for 1 hour or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Take out of the oven and brush on the reserved marinade.Turn oven to broil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the skin is browned and crispy. (Make sure to keep a close eye on it so it does not burn)
- Serve immediately with lime wedges and fresh chopped cilantro.
*NOTE* Prep time does not include marinating time.
Recipe adapted from Life Made Simple