top of page


by Neil Clifton

Jerk Chicken, some people believe the Jamaican Jerk Spice recipe was created by African slaves who ran into the wild areas of Jamaica when The British captured the island from The Spanish in 1655. Whatever the origin , it compliments the chicken wings and wood fired cooking perfectly.  Before you get anywhere near a flame though, I highly recommend you brine the chicken, it is simple and adds tenderness to the wings.

There is a temptation to quickly grill the wings once the marinade has been applied, you absolutely can do, but cooking the wings over indirect heat for 1.5hrs makes the meat fall off the bone and tastes so much better, plus it allows you an additional rum punch, which compliments the dish perfectly.


3l water

300g of salt

200g of sugar

10 coriander seeds

10 peppercorns

3 sprigs of thyme

3 bay leaves

1 lemon, quartered

1 orange, quartered

12 chicken wings

Jerk Marinade:
At least 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli.

½- medium onion coarsely chopped

3 medium spring onions chopped

3 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme

1½ tablespoons fresh ginger chopped

8 Garlic cloves chopped

1 Tablespoon cinnamon powder

1 Tablespoon Allspice coarsely ground

½ Tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 Tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons  Soy sauce


1.Add the salt and sugar to the pan along with the thyme, bay leaves, lemon and 1 litre of the water and bring to the boil

2. Heat and stir until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved, then remove from the heat

3. Add the remaining 2 litres of water, which will cool the brine down, but be sure to place the brine in the fridge until completely chilled before using. 

4. Submerge the meat in the wings and leave in the fridge for 4 hrs.

5. When complete, dry with  cloth.

1. Combine all ingredients into  a food processor and blitz for 30-60 secs.

2. Adjust seasoning/ heat to taste.


1. Marinade the chicken in the jerk paste for at least an hour, preferably 4.

2. Set your BBQ for indirect cooking, around 375-300 def F and cook for 1.5 hrs.

3. Place the wings in the BBQ, checking every 20 minutes or so to make sure they are not cooking unevenly.

4. After an hour, if they are looking a little dry, I like to spray some cold beer on them, to add some moisture. 

5. For the last 10 minutes open all the air vents on the BBQ up and crisp up the skins.

6. Once cooked, serve with your choice of sides, rice and peas is traditional, or just eat them on their own (only using your hands of course!)


You can go to the trouble of brining and making your own marinade, but of course if time is of the essence, you can by jerk mariandes from supermarkets, my favourite is Dunns River.



Keep informed about the latest recipes and updates from Neil Clifton

bottom of page