Grilled Jerk Chicken and Jamaican Style BBQ Sauce – Great for Memorial Day

Grilled Jerk Chicken and Jamaican Style BBQ Sauce - Great for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is known as the official start to the summer season. Swimming pools open, beach houses are cleaned out, decks and patios are washed, lawn furniture is put out and most important, the grill is tested, fired up and ready to go.

In my family, I grill just about everything, and do it year-round. When there is snow on the deck, or it’s just too cold and windy to fire up the outdoor grill, I have a Pampered Chef grill pan for the stove that grills just as good, without having to deal with smoke and the outdoor elements.

However, Memorial Day is a little special. Since the last Monday in May is the designated holiday, on the last Sunday, my family makes up their own clam bakes filled with clams, a chicken leg, an onion, a white potato, a sweet potato, corn on the cob, and shrimp.

Recommended reading: Best Burger Press

The Monday holiday is reserved for grilling “Jerk” chicken. A recipe handed down from my Grandmother’s family whose roots are deeply tied to the West Indies. We also grill traditional American food, like hot dogs, hamburgers and steak, basted in a Jamaican style BBQ sauce that is finger lickin good!

Recommended reading: Best Grilling Cookbooks

Jerk Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves (Here are some great garlic presses for you!)
  • 8-10 medium green onions sliced about 1/2-3/4 cup (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
  • 1 small to medium red bell pepper about 1/2-3/4 cup (Here’s some awesome spiralizers to use!)
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
  • 1/2-teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2-teaspoon salt (Check out our recommended salt and pepper grinder sets!)
  • 1/2-teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2-teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4-teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken breast, or selected chicken parts

Heat the Olive oil in an 8-10 inch skillet over medium heat until it is hot. Cook all ingredients, except the chicken in the oil. Stir frequently until the onions and peppers are tender.

Place chicken in a shallow glass dish, or a deep glass bowl and pour the Jerk mixture over the chicken. You can also inject it with a meat injector. Turn the chicken in the mixture until all sides are coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 1/2 a day. Occasionally turn chicken while it is marinating.

Note: you can also use a vacuum marinator! They work like a vacuum sealer, but are meant to better marinade your food!

Heat grill.

Place chicken pieces on grill. Discard any left over marinade. Cover and grill chicken on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until done.

Jamaican Style BBQ Sauce

  • 1 1/4 cups Ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2-cup tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Karo dark syrup
  • 1-tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1-teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper
  • 1-teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Baste grilled meat and vegetables with the sauce and refrigerate any unused portion.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!