Memorial Day Jerk Chicken

From Carrie Morey's hot little suppers cookbook

Memorial Day Jerk Chicken


  • • 2 sticks butter
  • • 5 bay leaves, crumbled then chopped
  • • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • • 1 teaspoon salt
  • • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • • Zest and juice of 2 limes (about 2 teaspoons zest and 3 to 4 tablespoons juice)
  • • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • • Salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper to taste
  • • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or 8 chicken pieces of your preference)

When I’m craving a tropical vacation, this Jerk Chicken transports my imagination and taste buds to the Caribbean, at least temporarily! The only hard part about this recipe is putting together the enormous amount of herbs and spices. I like to mix them up ahead of time when I can.

What should you serve with Jerk Chicken?

I love to serve this dish with Currant Almond Rice (from Hot Little Suppers cookbook) for an easy Sunday supper.

For hot Memorial Day weekend, serve with a cold salad like the Grapefruit and Avocado Salad or Cucumber & Avocado Summer Salad with Biscuit Croutons.


Jerk Chicken


  1. In a small bowl, combine the bay leaves, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger, allspice, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, thyme, brown sugar, and Turbinado sugar.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, and olive oil. Add the spice mixture and mix until well combined and a paste forms.
  3. Liberally salt and pepper the chicken pieces on both sides. Rub the spice mixture all over each piece of chicken. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Bring the chicken to room temperature and grill until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Or you can bake the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

Hot Little Tip

For the hot summer days in the South, throw this delicious chicken on top a cold, refreshing salad.