Super Simple Jerk Chicken Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Super Simple Jerk Chicken

21 reviews / 4.7 average

We're keeping it simple today like whoa whoa super super simple. Kick yer feet up. Grab a magazine. Actually, don't, because this is going to be done so fast you won't even have time to say Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

Before I really get into the chicken, I just have to say that this morning I am totally coming down from a girls' weekend high. This weekend a group of four of us girlfraaands from college decided to vacay out to Aspen for some girl-talking and hiking and fly fishing (<-?!?!?) and laughing and constant snacking and ultimate relaxing. On a awesomeness scale of one to ten, it was a twelve. So if I start getting all saggy shoulders and puppy dog eyes in the middle of this post, please put me on a plane back to Aspen with the girls.

Vacation collage images.

I'll have a full post with more pictures from our trip coming up towards the end of this week, but for now you can check the weekend snapshots on Insta - our trippy hashtag was #littleonestakeco as in Little-Ones-Take-CO, but Bjork told me last night that he thought it was supposed to be Little-One-Stake-Co, with the wrong spelling of steak. Mmmmk, where can I take a class on hashtagging?

So I'm not normally one to have *just chicken* for dinner. Can we agree that what's said here stays here? Because I have some things I need to say to you about chicken and I don't want this getting around. Chicken is not my most awesome food love. It's delish IN things (preferably things with all kinds of crazy flavors and textures and gallons of delicious homemade sauces) but sometimes the plain old chicken breast is just not grabby enough for me. I like things that take me for a wild food ride, and chicken is usually more of the kind of food that turns my world grey.

That. Being. Said.

Chicken on a grill.

THIS Super Simple Jerk Chicken is a game changer for no-chicken-me. First of all, I think I mentioned that it is done and ready for your mouth in about three seconds flat. Hungry much?

But more importantly, it's loaded (I mean, l-o-a-d-e-d possibly to the point of obsession, as you might see with that there picture) with spicy cayenne, textured black pepper, warm allspice, and caramely sweet brown sugar. Now that is one beautiful flavor bomb of yummy chicken.

I'm think I'm changing my mind about *just chicken* for dinner. Foreal.


Today is a big day! It's back to school for all my teacher friends, my former students, my Minnesota people.

Dinner after the first day of school is always a big decision. Oh, you're not one of those people who wakes up in the morning thinking about dinner? Hmm. Sad. Would it be best if someone would take you to the India Palace for palak aloo and vegetable curry and basmati rice and all the garlic naan that you can possibly stuff into your mouth for the post-first-day-of-school Special Dinner for Teachers? Yes, it would. That used to be our little back to school tradition, but now, you know, no school for me (sniff) so no Special Dinner for Teachers. Oh that garlic naan, so warm and soft in my hands and so perfectly filling after a long, mentally and physically and exhausting and completely fun day? That meal was something I looked forward to all year long.

The good news is that instead of being at the India Palace, I am at home making this spicy - check! - sweet - check! - fragrant - check! juicy chicken that can be a meal in and of itself OR can be tossed in salads, pasta, casseroles, and best of them all: pizza.

Chicken cut into pieces on a cutting board.

You guys, the real reason I am posting this (sometimes it takes me a while LIKE TWELVE PARAGRAPHS to come around to the main thing) is that I have a super exciting pizza for tomorrow that requires you to have some of this jerk chicken sliced up and ready in your fridge. I mean, not really, because you COULD use plain chicken instead. But then we'd all feel sad for you and your pizza tomorrow would be a little less awesome.

Make this jerk chicken tonight, love its inner spicy-sweet juiciness and its dark brown textured exterior. Eat it on whatever you want, enjoy all the time you're gaining with such a quickie meal, and save a few sliced pieces for tomorrow's cheesy, spicy, colorful pizza explosion.

Same time same place? See you there.

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Jerk chicken sliced on cutting board.

Super Simple Jerk Chicken


This Super Simple Jerk Chicken can be ready in 10 minutes! Spicy cayenne, warm allspice, and sweet brown sugar make a perfect spice combo.


  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts


  1. Combine all the spices, brown sugar, and oil in a small bowl. Preheat a skillet or grill to high heat.
  2. Rub the spice mixture over the chicken breasts (I had the best luck doing this with my hands). You can layer the spice mixture on the chicken as thick or thin as you like - there should be enough to cover about 4 large chicken breasts or 1 1/2 lbs. Place the spice-rubbed chicken breasts on the hot grill or skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until the exterior is very deep, dark brown and the inside is no longer pink.
  3. Remove from heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes to let the juices soak in before cutting.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Caribbean

Keywords: jerk chicken, simple jerk chicken

Super Simple Jerk Chicken - juicy, fragrant, spicy, and ready in 10 minutes. |

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love it! And only 8 ingredients (cause I don’t count salt and pepper)

    Had you posted this even a day earlier I might have featured it in my 10 ingredients tuesday instead of the lemon chicken.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon and ate jerk chicken pizza at least once a day while we were there. So tasty! And excited to try this 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      So fun! I love that! You’ll have to let me know how the pizza compares to the real Jamaican jerk chicken pizza. 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    This sounds so delicious! I never would have thought to use brown sugar on chicken. Can’t wait to try it. And the suspense is killing me with tomorrow’s pizza!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh so glad you had a wonderful weekend! I had a girls weekend about 3 weeks ago and it was the perfect reset that I needed! This chicken looks FAB – easy and flavorful. Win in my book!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      This is going to become a tradition for us (the girls’ weekend, I mean) – we just loved it so much. Thanks for the comment Liz!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Making this tomorrow because how could we not! Ate jerk chicken for the first time (!) this summer at a Jamaican food tent at a festival and it was delish. Obviously can’t wait to try this and get some of that yummy summer taste back!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Well, I too am skeptical about “just chicken for dinner” business, but I bet this recipe would make a pretty good filling for tacos. I might even be tempted to have it by itself with a side of red beans and rice and some fresh veggies. 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks yummy Lindsay! Can you tell me what kind of grill/griddles you have? I’m looking for a good one with removable plates. TIA!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes! I have a “Griddler” from Cuisinart and I use it all the time. Pancakes, French toast, paninis, chicken, you name it! 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Sounds like you had a fabulous trip, Lindsay! I can identify – I was out on the west coast with a few of my girlfriends (all of whom I’ve met through blogging and we’re now so close) and even though we were there to run a half marathon, the trip was full of delicious food and belly-busting laughing fits. Every single minute was amazing and I’ve never had post-vacay blues like this before in my life, but thank goodness I’ll get to see them all next weekend. And this recipe… loving it! Chicken definitely hasn’t been my first choice of protein sources lately but you’ve got me with that jerk rub!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      LOL – love that you guys were running a half marathon! Way to go! With us it was more like running to the next meal. But nevertheless… fun all around!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks great…but I don’t have a grill. Could I cook it in the oven? What temperature would you recommend, and for how long?
    I love your website!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Thanks for the response. So, if I just cook it in the skillet, how much longer would it take? Your original recipe has you cooking it in a skillet first, and then transferring to the grill. Could you please suggest approximate times for cooking just in the skillet?
        Thanks so much!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          Nope – should be one or the other. It depends on how high your heat is – but for me it was about 10 minutes total (5 minutes on each side – I had pretty thick chicken breasts).

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Cruel. That’s what it is when you post an Indian Palace play-by-play on my 1st day of school, when my family and I broke our yearly tradition of going out to eat… because I was too worn out to do anything but gnaw on practically-cardboard Little Ceasar’s pizza. Sigh.
    By the way… You were missed today.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      *sad twinge* I was thinking of all of you today! Also, hate to say it but sometimes Little Caesar’s is delicious in that most trashy way.

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m always looking for a way to spice up (literally) plain ole chicken breast. This flavor combo sounds delicious, so I’ll have to try it out! And that pizza recipe? I’m already excited to read about it tomorrow.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is so the start of amazing things!
    We had pizza last night with leftover rump steak, mushrooms and avo.
    I can do pizza with leftovers every night… and this chicken? Man, I can’t wait!!