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Alan's Jerk Marinade
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    Alan's Jerk Marinade

  • 1 cup scallions (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves (chopped; tough stems removed)
  • 1-3 Habaneros* (to desired heat level +)
  • 2 tsp Jamaican allspice (freshly ground)3 Tbs soy sauce (I use tamari)
  • 1 Tbs vinegar (white or cider)1 Tbs cooking oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper (and pepper medley)2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (I use raw sugar)1/2 tsp cinnamon (freshly ground)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (freshly ground)
  • Put all ingredients except the scallions and thyme in a blender (or food processor) and puree. Then add the remaining ingredients and run the blender until the ingredients are well mixed, but not pureed. Makes a little more than 1 cup (enough for about 2 pounds of meat). Recipe scales well. Sauce can be kept refrigerated for a month, or frozen for a "long time".

    * Pickled Habaneros will do just fine if you can't find fresh; but I've found that they are not as hot as fresh ones (like maybe half as hot). You could also substitute Habanero-based sauce. But only use sauce that has a low amount of other spices (unless it's allspice). One of my latest variations uses about 3 Tbs of Alan's Special Mild Habanero sauce for flavor; and enough Habaneros or Scotch Bonnet sauce to bring the heat up to the right point.
    Jamaican jerk is usually made with Scotch Bonnet chiles, which are closely related to the Habanero (they are both of the species Capsicum Chinense), but harder to find (for me anyway). I'm not sure of the taste differences.
    + To judge the heat, taste when it's all mixed together and add more if you want it hotter. It's hard to tell how hot the final product will be the first time you make this, but you will get used to judging the heat eventually. For me, the right level is achieved when 1/8 tsp of the jerk sauce is enough to make me want water (but I'm used to capsaicin).

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    Jerk Chicken
    For chicken, use about 1/2 cup of marinade per pound of chicken thighs (any cut will do), rubbing all over and under the skin. Marinade overnight (or for a few hours) in the refrigerator in a covered baking dish. Put the baking dish directly into a 300F preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (depends on how much meat and how it's arranged). Immediately after removing from the oven, grill the meat over a hot BBQ (mesquite charcoal works very well) for a few minutes on each side, until crispy. (Begin with the skin side down.)
    The goal for prebaking the meat is to be able to grill the meat quickly to a crispy outside and juicy inside, while avoiding an undercooked middle. I usually serve it with rice and tropical fruit, like mango or banana.

    From: Alan L. Edwards The Chile-Heads Recipe Collection
    Posted By: Alan L. Edwards (
    Post Date:



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