Herbal Seasoning for Jerk Chicken: A Flavorful Twist

Jerk chicken is a quintessential dish in Caribbean cuisine, known for its bold flavors and aromatic spices. One way to elevate this classic dish is by incorporating fresh herbs into the seasoning mix. Herbs not only add complexity to the flavor profile but also bring a fresh and vibrant twist to the traditional jerk marinade. Let’s dive into how you can make herbal seasoning for jerk chicken and a delicious recipe to try at home.


Jerk chicken is traditionally seasoned with a combination of spices such as allspice, thyme, and scotch bonnet peppers. By adding fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, and mint, you can create a unique variation that enhances the flavor and brings a new dimension to this beloved dish.

Herbal Jerk Seasoning Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Salt to taste

Jerk Chicken Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken thighs or drumsticks, bone-in and skin-on
  • Fresh lime wedges for garnish
  • Fresh herbs for garnish (optional)


  1. Prepare the Herbal Jerk Seasoning:
    • In a dry skillet, toast the allspice berries and black peppercorns over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool, then grind into a fine powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
    • In a blender or food processor, combine the ground spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, fresh thyme, cilantro, parsley, mint, garlic, grated ginger, scotch bonnet peppers, onion, green onions, soy sauce, vinegar, vegetable oil, lime juice, brown sugar, and salt. Blend until smooth to form the herbal jerk seasoning.
  2. Marinate the Chicken:
    • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Pour the herbal jerk seasoning over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well coated. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Grill the Chicken:
    • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off. Grill the chicken for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is crispy and the meat is cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (75°C).
  4. Serve:
    • Transfer the grilled jerk chicken to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh lime wedges and additional fresh herbs if desired. Serve hot with your favorite sides, such as rice and peas, grilled vegetables, or a fresh green salad.


Herbal seasoning for jerk chicken brings a refreshing twist to this classic Caribbean dish. The combination of traditional spices and fresh herbs creates a flavor explosion that is sure to impress. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or simply craving a taste of the islands, this herbal jerk chicken recipe is a must-try.

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