Jerk chickens

The best kind of jerk you'll find.

  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
You'll love these baby chickens marinated with a spicy Jamaican jerk spice with grilled pineapple. You will need to start this recipe the day before.
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Jerk chickens
  • ½ medium pineapple (600g), cut into 1cm slices
  • 4 x 500g small chickens (see tip)
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
  • lime cheeks, to serve
  • 2 medium limes (180g)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 small red onion (100g), chopped coarsely
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh long green chilli, chopped coarsely


Jerk chickens
  • 1
    Make marinade. Finely grate rind from 1 lime. Squeeze juice from both limes; you will need 2 tablespoons juice. Process rind and juice with remaining ingredients until smooth.
  • 2
    Place pineapple and ½ cup of the marinade in a medium bowl;toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
  • 3
    Discard necks from chickens. Using kitchen scissors, cut along each side of backbones; discard backbones. Turn chickens skin-side up; press down on breastbone to flatten. Cut through breastbone to cut chickens in half. Rinse chickens; pat dry with paper towel. Cut two deep slashes into chicken breasts and thighs.
  • 4
    Place chickens in a medium shallow dish with remaining marinade; turn to coat. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
  • 5
    Preheat a barbecue (or grill plate) to medium heat. Cook chickens, turning and basting occasionally with marinade, for 15 minutes or until cooked through. (If chickens are browning too quickly before cooking through, close the lid of a covered barbecue or cover chickens with foil or upturned baking dishes.) Remove from heat; rest, covered loosely with foil, for 10 minutes.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, cook pineapple slices on barbecue until goldenbrown and heated through. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.
  • 7
    Serve chickens with pineapple, coriander and lime cheeks.


In Australia young, small chickens weighing between 300g and 600g are called spatchcocks. In other countries, they're called poussins, rock Cornish hens or simply baby chickens.

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