Home » Featured, Recipes

Freezer Friendly Jamaican Jerk Chicken

1 August 2011 10 Comments

Freezer Friendly Jamaican Jerk ChickenThis chicken is so good, it had my business partner contemplating the possibility of us opening a chicken restaurant!  The out-of-this-world flavor comes from a tantalizing combination of spices we Americans typical only use at Thanksgiving time when making pumpkin pie, accented by a liberal dose of heat from habenero chiles  (known as Scotch Bonnet peppers in the islands).

The chicken and marinade are frozen together in this recipe.  When you’re ready to eat, just thaw and grill .  I plan on doing an upcoming post about freezing meats in marinades — it doesn’t always work well.  But this is one recipe that puts the technique to beautiful use.  You’ll have juicy, flavor infused chicken every time.

Consider taking this recipe on your next camping trip.  The frozen chicken and marinade will help keep your cooler cold until it’s time to grill.

If you happen to find a good sale on chicken, buy lots and make lots of this marinade.  Freeze in zip-top freezer bags in portions that make sense for your family’s needs.  I like to use thighs and drumsticks for this recipes, but breasts and wings work well too.

If you plan on foregoing the freezing and just want to make the chicken to eat right away, allow enough time for it to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours.  Twelve to 24 hours is even better.  Otherwise, follow the instructions below and freeze for an unforgettable meal you can just thaw and slap on the grill.

Makes Enough Marinade for About 10 Pounds Chicken

2/3 cup lime juice
2/3 cup dark rum
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 bunches green onions, white and green parts, chopped

3 tablespoons minced garlic
1-2  (more to taste) habenero (AKA Scotch Bonnet) chiles
1-2 tablespoons (more to taste) hot sauce, preferably Pickapeppa*
3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
10 pounds chicken parts

Combine all ingredients except chicken in food processor and process to make a chunky marinade.  Divide chicken pieces into zip-top freezer bags that meet your portion needs.  Divide marinade over the chicken and shake to coat.  Freeze (or alternately marinate for at least 8 hours before grilling).

To cook after freezing:
Thaw chicken and marinade in the refrigerator, in the microwave.  Prepare a medium-hot grill fire for both direct and indirect grilling.  Grill chicken over direct heat for about 4 minutes per side to give it some nice grill marks.  Then transfer chicken to the indirect heat side of the grill and continue to cook until done, about 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 160 degrees F.  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 A Little Nosh Linky Party.



  • Peggy said:

    I’ve never frozen meats with marinade before, so I’m definitely excited about your upcoming post on it!
    This chicken sounds absolutely delicious too =)

  • Carolyn Jung said:

    A great idea to not only save time, but to infuse more flavor into everyday chicken. Can’t wait to try this spicy, savory marinade.

  • Cheri
    Cheri (author) said:

    Here’s the general post about freezing meats in marinades folks


    All the best,


  • cindy said:

    So I need some advice. I saw this recipe and had to make it! Unfortunately, *I didn’t read all the way first. I made the marinade and was going to let the chicken sit for 3 days. I now think that may be too long. So, it has marinated overnight…is it too late to put in the freezer? Will the chicken have broken down already?
    Thanks for the great recie.


  • cindy said:

    Here’s a followup to my previous dilema….what if I grill today and then freeze? Thaw tomorrow night and reheat on the grill on Saturday?


  • Cheri
    Cheri (author) said:

    Hi Cindy,

    This marinade doesn’t break the meat down like others, or at least it hasn’t for me yet. I had some sit in a marinade thawed (in the fridge) for 2 days before grilling last week, it was still good, but the flavor of the marinade got pretty strong after this much time. Nobody seemed to mind, although ideally a day would have been better.

    The problem with freezing cooked meats is that they tend to get dry and tough unless they frozen in a sauce, and this recipe doesn’t qualify. If I were you I would grill and eat tomorrow, or grill tonight and keep the coked chicken in the fridge instead of the freezer until you can eat it — you can reheat in an oven or microwave or enjoy cold chicken.

    All the best,


  • cindy said:

    Thanks, Cheri!

    I am going to cook it tomorrow…it smells delish!!!

    Thanks again for the recipe AND the advice!


  • Katherine Martinelli said:

    I love jerk chicken and the idea of making it ahead like this only makes it better! Thanks so much for linking up at my chicken blog hop!

  • Tim said:


    I was wondering if baking the chicken would be an option?

  • Cheri
    Cheri (author) said:

    Sure it works fine baked.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.