Levi Roots’ jerk chicken marinade recipe

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makes: 10
Skill: medium
Spice: medium
Prep: 45 min

Nutrition per portion

Calories 178 kCal 9%
Fat 15.4g 22%
  -  Saturates 1.2g 6%
Carbohydrates 8.1g 9%
  -  of which Sugars 6.4g 7%
Protein 1.3g 3%
Salt 3.07g 51%
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  • Reggae Reggae sauce creator Levi Roots shares his recipe for this classic Caribbean dish.

    It’s one of the Caribbean’s most famous dishes, but you may be surprised to learn jerk chicken is traditionally served as street food. Levi Roots’ delicious jerk chicken recipe is perfect for any occasion however, especially large gatherings as you need to prepare the marinade in advance – so, it’s all ready to go when its time to cook.

    This Levi Roots’ marinade recipe will make enough for 10 portions of jerk chicken, if each portion contains around 200g of meat. If you don’t require all the marinade at one time, it can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week. Ideally, you should let the jerk chicken marinade in the sauce for 24 hours, or at least overnight – and don’t forget to poke holes into the chicken beforehand so it can fully absorb the flavours.

    For the juiciest cuts and flavour, Levi Roots recommends using this jerk marinade for chicken legs, thighs, wings or a combination of all three. The cook time will depend on which cuts and the amount of chicken you use. At 200C, eight chicken thighs will take around 25 – 20 minutes to cook.


    • Dry ingredients
    • 60g Scotch bonnet, deseeded and roughly chopped
    • 100g spring onion roughly chopped
    • 10g thyme, leaves only
    • 20g garlic, roughly chopped
    • 20g ginger, roughly chopped
    • 10g whole pimento
    • 10g cracked pepper
    • 10g soft brown sugar
    • 10g salt
    • 5g cinnamon powder
    • 5g nutmeg powder
    • Wet ingredients
    • 150ml rapeseed oil
    • 150ml soy sauce
    • 150ml cider vinegar
    • 150ml fresh orange juice
    • 10ml runny honey
    • 75ml lime juice


    • Add all the dry ingredients to a pestle and mortar and grind into a chunky paste.

    • Transfer the dry ingredients to a bowl, add the wet ingredients and mix well.

    • Use a skewer or a knife to poke a few holes in your chicken – this will help the flavour to seep into the meat.

    • Rub the marinade all over your chicken.

    • Cover and leave in the fridge for 24 hours to marinate.

    • When you are ready to eat, grill your chicken pieces on a medium heat until thoroughly cooked, or roast in the oven

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