Jamaican Jerk Spatchcocked Chicken


Source: Robyn Lindars, Grill Girl

“If you want to try a Jamaican Jerk Rub recipe from scratch that will blow your mind, then read on! This recipe is for you.

This Jamaican Jerk Spice Paste is fragrant and dresses up your average chicken or pork. There really is no comparison for making this fragrant rub from scratch versus using a store-bought rub. Trust me!

I discovered Jamaican food when I first moved to the greater Miami area back in 2008 and was mesmerized by melting pot of flavors in South Florida. Miami has an array of cultures based on its proximity to the islands and Latin America and it definitely heightened my senses to new ways of cooking, including my favorite cuisine- “Floribbean,” which can be seen in many of my recipes on GrillGirl.com. I fell in love with Jamaican Jerk flavors back then and have been honing my skills since ever since. This spice paste is fragrant and intoxicating and works on chicken and pork. Try it on ribs and it will equally blow your mind.” – Robyn Lindars


  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed - spatchcocked
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries (ground is okay too)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves (fresh is even better)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped habanero or scotch bonnet pepper with seeds removed (if you cannot handle heat you can omit this part but please still add dash or hot sauce)
  • Zest and juice of one large lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Make your spice paste: Combine all your ingredients in the food processor, starting with the olive oil first, and mix until it forms a paste consistency- you can adjust olive oil if you want your paste more liquid.
    Ingredients for Jamaican Jerk Past in food processor.
  2. Butterfly the chicken: I’d recommend buying the chicken at a butcher where you can ask them to do this for you. If you don’t have them do it, you will need to use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone and then press down on the chicken with the palm of your hand to help flatten the bird.
  3. Use your finger and loosen the skin on the bird, but be careful not to tear it. Rub the seasoning paste under the skin all over the chicken and then repeat on the outside of the skin. Cover the bird or put in a Ziploc bag and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
    Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Paste on a spoon.
  4. Grilling: Preheat your grill to medium, about 350 degrees. Grill the bird, pressing it as flat as possible and flipping/arranging every so often so no side gets too charred (at least every 10 minutes). Total cooking time should be between 35-40 minutes. After the bird reaches an internal temp of 170 at its thickest point, remove from the grill and cover with foil. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting so it has time to reabsorb juices.
    Jamaican Jerk Chicken on the grill.
  5. Serve with your favorite coleslaw, grilled romaine or favorite grilled veggies and Texas toast. If you make this for your family, they will think you are a grilling Goddess!

Notes: “Spatchcocked” is really just a funny way of saying grilled butterflied chicken. Much like you need to butterfly a Cornish game hen (which is a small chicken) so it will lay flat on the grill, you need to do the same with a whole chicken. Removing the backbone allows the bird to lay flat so the bird can cook more evenly on the grill.

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