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Miss Ollie's Jerk Chicken

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

I was craving spicy chicken wings and I also wanted to cook them on the grill. I looked through quite a few recipes till I found this one on Bon Appétit.

This is a super simple recipe that has a punch. I had to cut down on the chillies for my daughter, but the flavouring was wonderful. And yes I still use an old-fashioned charcoal grill, I cannot give up the smoky flavours.

For a vegetarian version, substitute paneer for the chicken, it is still just as delicious.

For more recipes from the magazine Bon Appetit, click here.


1 bunch chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

4–8 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles

5 garlic cloves, crushed

¾ cup malt vinegar

¾ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons Jamaican rum

2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal or 1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt

2½ teaspoons ground allspice

1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg

¾ teaspoon ground cloves

8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken legs (about 6 pounds total), drumsticks and thighs separated, patted dry

Vegetable oil (for the grill)

Blend chives, chiles, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, rum, salt, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves in a blender until smooth. Place chicken in a large bowl and pour jerk marinade over it. Turn thighs and drumsticks several times to coat. Cover and chill, turning chicken pieces once, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Remove chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess, and let come to room temperature, for about 30 minutes. Discard marinade.

Prepare grill for 2-zone heat (for a charcoal grill, bank two-thirds of the coals on one half of the grill and scatter the remaining coals over another side; for a gas grill, set one burner to high heat and the remaining burners to medium-low heat). Lightly brush the grate with oil. Arrange chicken drumsticks and thighs, skin side down, on a grate over the hottest part of the grill and grill, turning halfway through, until lightly charred, 5–10 minutes. Move chicken to the cooler part of the grill and continue to grill, turning several times, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°, 20–25 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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