Rum Jerk Chicken

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Rum jerk chicken using flavorful chicken thighs are a hit for your next cookout.

Rum jerk chicken using flavorful chicken thighs are a hit for your next cookout.

One of the fun memories I have of our Jamaica retreat was tearing into some jerk chicken with my hands and gobbling up each juicy, spicy bite. I think we don’t eat our food with our hands enough, don’t you? (Well, except for my toddler, who thinks everything is for hands, but at least asks permission first — usually.)

Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to make a version of jerk chicken at home, but didn’t feel too much like grilling over the winter. Now that the temperatures are going back up, my itch for the grill has been growing, so I quickly put these rum jerk chicken thighs together.

I love recipes that don’t take much work overall, and especially recipes that can be hands-off for long periods of time. The marinade for rum jerk chicken comes together really quickly with the assistance of a blender, but you can even skip that step if you prefer. Then the chicken can sit in the fridge while you’re at work or off conquering the world, and they’re ready to cook up when you are.

This recipe for rum jerk chicken will be a hit at your next grill-out.

My rum jerk chicken was made for Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Boozy Cooking and is hosted by me! For our Boozy Cooking dinner, we all created recipes using beer, wine, or spirits.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

Boozy Cooking



Main Course


Rum Jerk Chicken

My family likes this recipe because it’s spicy but not so much so that we’re grabbing for the milk. If your kids don’t like spicy, simply remove the skin from the thighs.

Rum Jerk Chicken

Rum Jerk Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Rum jerk chicken using flavorful chicken thighs are a hit for your next cookout.


  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1- inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne or ancho chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs


  1. Combine rum, lime juice, onion, ginger, garlic, allspice, thyme, cayenne, salt, and black pepper in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. Lay chicken thighs in a large casserole pan and pour marinade over the top. Turn chicken to evenly coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Prepare the grill by cleaning it and using a small amount of oil to grease grate to prevent sticking. Turn the flames on to medium.
  4. Grill chicken thighs over medium heat, skin-side down for about 10 minutes, then flip and continue grilling for another 8-10 minutes. Smaller or boneless thighs will take less time to cook.


You can swap the ground cayenne or ancho chile for 1 diced habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling!
If you like, reserve the marinade after removing the chicken, bring to a boil in a saucepan, and use to baste chicken.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 thighs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 647Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 333mgSodium: 987mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 62g

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  1. I’m always looking for more chicken recipes and this looks scrumptious! My hubby is the kid in our family so I’ll have him remove the skin off his 😉

  2. I love a jerk chicken but I never thought about making a rum jerk chicken. What an excellent idea. I would take mine with some extra habanero please.. YUM

  3. What a perfect way to grill chicken. I love eating with my hands, and this makes a great meal for weeknights – I can leave the chicken to marinate all night, then throw it on the grill just before dinner. I can’t believe jerk is so simple – why haven’t I made it before?

  4. Thank you so much for hosting this month, Megan! I guess I have you to thank/blame for the 2 cups of chocolate peanut butter porter ice cream sauce sitting in my fridge! lol

    I mostly cook with thighs, too–so good! I love jerk chicken and eating with my hands, so I’m putting this in rotation come grillin’ season!

  5. I made the marinade to use as a sauce- I doubled it and cooked the alcohol off . I didn’t think it tasted very good so I added honey and pineapple, now it tastes good and I will be serving it tomorrow as a Jamaican jerk chicken sandwich with jerk glaze- at the restaurant I cook at.

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