Grilled Jerk Chicken Kebabs

Story by Natalie
Grilled Jerk Chicken Kebabs
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Pull out the Grills!

The NW girl in me waits for nothing with as much anticipation as I do summer. There is just something about those long, warm nights and the evening glow that comes with them. I love nothing more than to be outside drinking a margarita while preparing and a enjoying a grilled dinner.

Grilled dinners are life. Nothing beats that clean up, or the chill vibes that cooking outside with your favorite drink in hand induces. This year, I’ve taken the leap and added a large trampoline to our backyard furniture collection, so now I’m cooking outside with entertained (non complaining) kids! I’m telling you, I am living the dream, folks!

I have some tried and true favorite dishes that I cook on the grill on repeat like this chicken over cabbage (so good on the grill), or this grilled chicken shawarma (drool worthy), but this grilled Jamaican Jerk chicken is my family’s current obsession. 

After making it for the first time I was pleasantly surprised as I watched my kids devour it, and I have since decided it has earned a permanent place in our summer grilling rotation.

It’s time to grill something new

I’ve never actually been to Jamaica, but if I could eat this jerk chicken AND lay on the beach in the warm sun, I’m pretty sure it’d be the closest thing to heaven.

Grilled Jerk Chicken Kebabs

After doing some research (and even taking a class on the subject), I learned that a great jerk marinade is all you need, and it all comes down to the right spices and a few greens. 

True jerk contains scotch bonnet peppers (habañero), but for the sake of keeping this recipe family friendly I’m skipping them today. As for the spices...think sweet and smoky, earthy and bright. To really bring all these flavors together I added some pineapple and sweet peppers to the kebabs (more kid favorites).

After marinating the chicken and skewering the kebabs you’re ready to grill. When the chicken is nice and seared on the outside and still juicy on the inside, you can serve these babies over warm rice (coconut riceis even better) and you’ve got yourself another winner chicken dinner!

Grilled Jerk Chicken Kebabs

Invite over a friend, or two or three…

Last weekend we hosted friends for pizzas outside with our new pizza oven. (Which, by the way, was absolutely delicious.) When everyone left, all I could think of was how excited I was to cook outside with more friends all summer long, and these Jerk chicken skewers are a great place to start.

Whether you make these grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken Kabobs, or a pizza, or a burger just promise me you’ll be eating it with friends. Live it up for the next three months as you enjoy community while dining al fresco and pretend like whatever bad weather you just came out of never happened.

Grilled Jerk Chicken Kebabs

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp allspice
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp brown sugar
5 green onion stalks
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp fresh thyme (1 tbsp dried)
1 cup cilantro, packed
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 red onion, cut into 2" pieces, divided
1 lb baby bell peppers, whole
1 pineapple, cut into 2" pieces
metal or bamboo skewers, soaked

Method

  1. In a blender combine all ingredients from nutmeg to the onion, using only ¼ of the onion. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour marinade over chicken and allow to marinate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  4. On each skewer and chicken, pineapple, peppers and onions, rotating ingredients after ever piece. Once prepared, set on grill and cook until chicken is cooked through, rotating often.

*Serve with coconut rice!