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+ servings
5 from 6 votes

Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken

Grilled spicy chicken with Caribbean spices and flavor.  Basted with a ginger beer jerk bbq sauce and a squeeze of lime.

Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Jamaican
Keyword Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 37 minutes
chill overnight 8 hours
Total Time 57 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 155 kcal


  • 1 2.5 - 3 lb chicken
  • 1 lime squeeze over chicken before serving

Jerk Paste

  • 6-8 green onions
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 habanero peppers (scotch bonnets)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp allspice ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg ground
  • 1/2 tsp cloves ground
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper fresh ground

Ginger Beer Jerk BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 12 ounces ginger beer
  • 1-3 tbsp jerk paste reserved from above


Jerk Paste Instructions

  1. 1.  Cut along each side of the backbone of the chicken.  Remove backbone.  Discard or save for bone broth.  Cut cartilage on the breastbone.  This will relax the breast and the chicken should lay flat.

    2.   Put all ingredients for jerk paste is a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.

    3.  Reserve 1-3 tablespoons for Jerk BBQ Sauce (depending on how hot and spicy you would like your sauce).  Refrigerate until ready to use.  The sauce can be made in advance.  Store in refrigerator in a jar. 

    4.  Place chicken in a dish or large resealable bag.  Using rubber gloves rub remaining jerk paste all over the chicken.  Place chicken breast side down.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Ginger Beer Jerk BBQ Sauce

  1. 1.  In a medium-size saucepan, combine ketchup, pineapple juice, and ginger beer.  Stir in 1-3 tablespoons jerk paste.

    2.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until desired consistency.  

    3.  The sauce can be made a week in advance.  Store in refrigerator

    4.  Use sauce to baste the chicken as it cooks.  Spoon over cooked chicken or serve on the side.

To Grill Chicken

  1. 1.  Once the chicken has marinated several hours or overnight, remove from container and place on a hot grill, breast side down.  Cook over a low flame for 15-20 minutes.  An indirect heat would work well so the chicken doesn't burn. T

    2.  Turn the chicken over and continue to cook, basting a with Jerk BBQ sauce for an additional 15 -20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160-165F degrees.  

    3.  Serve extra Jerk BBQ sauce on the side or spoon over cooked chicken before serving and a squeeze of lime juice

Recipe Notes

1.  Hot habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers do NOT have to be used.  If you are a little shy of spice, try adding a jalapeno or serrano pepper.  

2.  Ginger beer can be substituted with another form of soda or beer.

3.  A whole cut chicken can substitute for a whole chicken that is spatchcocked.  Just marinate cut pieces of chicken in a resealable bag for the same amount of time.   

4.  Be sure to watch the flame of your grill.  Make sure flames do not flare up.  Indirect heat would be a good idea.

5.  Chicken can be baked in a 325F degree oven for 30-40 minutes on a baking sheet or a large cast iron skillet.  Baste occasionally with Jerk BBQ sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken
Amount Per Serving (4 people)
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1008mg42%
Potassium 248mg7%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 415IU8%
Vitamin C 15mg18%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.