There is nothing more Jamaican in flavor than jerk seasoning, a true staple in every Jamaican household. My friend Virginia Burke made jerk chicken for me in the traditional manner: in a fire pit over smoking pimento leaves. The taste of this dish will always bring back the memories of friendship and laughter of that afternoon in March. Kevin Brauch, The Thirsty Traveler
Recipe courtesy of
1 hr 7 min
10 min
4 servings


  • 1 whole chicken, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of Jerk Rub seasoning, recipe follows
  • 8 to 12 pimento (allspice) leaves, for flavor, optional
Jamaican Jerk Rum Rub:
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 small jalapenos
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (olive or vegetable)
  • Splash flavorful rum


Rub the chicken with lime and salt. Rub jerk seasoning over chicken halves. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight for the best results.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium high.

If using, spread the pimento leaves on the grill. Barbecue should be on medium-low heat. Grill the chicken for about 45 minutes, turning often to optimize cooking and browning.

Alternatively, you may use your home oven, heated to 375 degrees F., but do not use pimento leaves.

Let chicken sit for 10 minutes before cutting into quarters.

Jamaican Jerk Rum Rub:

Put all ingredients into food processor. Mix on high for 15 pulses.


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