In The Kitchen with Kanta: Jerk Chicken


In-The-Kitchen-With-Kanta-Logo (1)

Jerk chicken is traditionally Jamaican, but has become extremely popular across borders. It is succulent and delicious, and packs a punch when it comes to flavour and spiciness. If you have never tried it before, you are missing out. This recipe uses less spicy ingredients to the usual Scotch bonnet peppers etc; however if it is still too spicy for you then dial down the cayenne pepper according to your preference.


  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tspn all spice seasoning
  • 1 tspn brown sugar
  • 1 tspn onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tspn ground ginger
  • ½ tspn cayenne pepper
  • ¼ ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tspn dried thyme leaves
  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces (thighs, breasts, wings etc)
  • 60ml of vegetable oil


Cooking time: 50+ minutes

Serves: 6-8

Make the jerk spice mixture by combining; the salt, allspice, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, pepper, ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and thyme in a bowl and mixing well.

Now mix the chicken pieces with the spice mixture, then cover them, and leave them in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180 – 200 degrees C. Place the chicken pieces into a baking dish, slash each chicken piece down to the bone and pour the vegetable oil over them, making sure each piece is covered well. Bake them in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink near the bone.


This chicken goes perfectly with Caribbean rice and peas; but can also go well with normal white or brown rice and beans, or vegetables of your choice. Enjoy!

Kanta Temba is a Cake maker and decorator|Lusaka Times Food columnist|TV show host



  1. Why not stick to Zambian dishes instead of experimenting with foreign ones? That Jamaican Jerk looks very dry, unlike the ones I have eaten at the during the East Indian Carnival. Rice and Peas missing here or is it the way they have been cooked?

    • You are the chaps that keep ordering sausage and chips to which ever eating place you go to..napa Hungry Lion

  2. I do enjoy Carribean food, I have to say. Especially their Ox-tail.

    But this Jerk chicken is more technically challenging to get right. I’d just barbecue an ordinary chicken in spices! It really needs special processes to get that authentic Caribbean flavour or it can become a bit yucky with inexperience. Even carribeans go to a good Jerk place to get that real flavour.

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