Monday, August 30, 2021

Jerk Chicken: Maya Corrigan 5-ingredient #Recipe

Grilled jerk chicken is a popular dish in the Caribbean region and easy to make at home. Chicken pieces are marinated in spices (cinnamon, allspice, thyme, nutmeg, garlic), plus lime juice or vinegar, olive oil, and soy sauce. Using a prepared jerk seasoning mix simplifies making the dish and gets the ingredients down to five. 

During the summer I always look for ways to move the cooking outdoors. Do you enjoy grilled food in summer?

I adapted this recipe from the McCormick spice company site. McCormick makes a couple of different types of jerk seasoning, and other spice companies make it as well. 


2 Tablespoons Jerk Seasoning mix (more if you like spicy food)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
2 1/2 pounds bone-in thighs or legs, or 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless chicken tenders

Makes 4-6 servings.

I halved the recipe to make a pound of chicken tenders. The ingredients in my photo include an avocado and a mango because I'd run across a recipe for an avocado-mango "mousse" to serve on top of grilled chicken. I'm not including that recipe here because I can't recommend it. Even published cookbooks contain recipes that don't turn out well. We ended up tossing out the mousse, though I think a mango and avocado salsa would work well with jerk chicken. 

To make the marinade, mix the seasoning, oil, soy sauce and vinegar in small bowl. Place the chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add the marinade and turn the chicken to coat it well. Refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes. The longer it stays in the marinade, the stronger the flavor will be. Turn the chicken halfway through the marinating time. 

Remove the chicken from the bag or dish, and discard any remaining marinade. Grill the chicken over medium heat with a closed lid, turning the chicken to ensure even cooking.  For chicken tenders, the grilling takes 5 to 7 minutes. Make a small cut in the tender to check that the chicken is done.  

For bone-in thighs or legs, it takes about 10 minutes to sear, followed by 15 minutes cooking at a lower heat. You can move the chicken to a less hot part of the grill for the second part of cooking. Test the chicken for doneness with a thermometer. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees. 

Besides chicken and corn, the plate includes a summer squash casserole. I previously shared a recipe for the casserole with zucchini cut in rounds. This time I used the same recipe for cubed yellow squash. Get the recipe here.  

In the Mid-Atlantic, where I live, cooking food on an outdoor grill is possible, not just in the summer, but also spring and fall. Chicken is my favorite food to grill. 

Do you have a favorite grilled food? Burgers, steak, veggies? 

 🍔 🍗

Maya Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries featuring café manger Val and her live-wire grandfather solving murders in a Chesapeake Bay town. Maya lives in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Before writing crime fiction, she taught American literature, writing, and detective fiction at Northern Virginia Community College and Georgetown University. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords.

Visit her website to sign up for her newsletter. One subscriber wins a book each time a newsletter goes out. Check out the easy recipes, mystery history and trivia, and a free culinary mystery story on the website.

Book covers of the 7 Five-Ingredient Mysteries by Maya Corrigan


  1. Burgers are my favorite grilled food.

    1. It's hard to beat a grilled burger. They just don't taste the same when you pan fry them. Thanks for your comment, Christine.

  2. We love to grill/smoke foods all year long, but especially in the hot summer time. So much so that we have four grills/smokes and it depends on what we are cooking on which one we use. The Big Green Egg is superb for smoking. The big wood smoker is the best for steaks to get the wood flavoring. When it's a small meal like burgers we use the hibachi grill. The gas grill is great for BBQ chicken because the temperature is more controllable for long and slow cooking.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Four grills/smokers! I guess that means you like cooking outdoors. Thanks for commenting, Kay.

  3. We grilled burgers Saturday for a birthday celebration for my granddaughter. I often use a grill pan on the stove, but for this number of people the grill was perfect!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Libby. I agree that grilling works well for a crowd.