This Paleo Jerk chicken is packed with flavor and will change your opinion about boring, bland chicken breasts!
Chicken breasts …bland, dry, boring piece of protein (per my inner 10 y/o child) or blank canvas on which you can paint a masterpiece?
In the many years since I started cooking for myself, I’ve learned to think of chicken breasts as the latter.
You can do SO MUCH with them! So much.
Here’s a just a couple from my own archives:
- Moroccan-Marinated Chicken Breasts with Wilted Onions
- Paleo Chicken Parmesan
- Baked Mustard Chicken
- Paleo Chicken Pesto
This Paleo Jerk Chicken is no exception when it comes to flavor. You essentially grab everything with big flavor you can possibly think of and blend it together. Invitees to the marinade party include fresh lime juice, nutmeg, garlic, thyme, and even a couple habanero peppers (don’t worry – I’ve outlined how you can make it more or less spicy). All those big flavors bring their own flavorful date – nutmeg is a baller who invites cloves, allspice, coriander, and cinnamon; garlic invites onion; lime juice brings coconut aminos; and the habaneros don’t invite anyone because they’re cool going stag. Scallions and black pepper crash the party, but nobody minds.
Blend everyone together, pour it over 4+ chicken breasts, and let the marinade party go all night in the fridge. Come the next day, all you need to do is either pop that flavorful chicken in the oven or toss them on the grill. I made them both ways and included instructions for either in the notes below.
I recommend you serve this tasty protein with some cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, raw broccoli slaw, or even on a big bed of salad!
Enjoy, my friends!
Paleo Jerk Chicken
- 2-4 pounds chicken breasts
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch scallions
- 3 habanero peppers for medium: deseed 2 peppers and use one whole; for mild: use only deseed 2 peppers, for hot: use three peppers with seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme dried will work too
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice from ~6 limes
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Wash and pat each chicken breast dry.
- In a food processor or blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
- In a large bowl or Ziploc bag, pour the marinade over the chicken breasts - turning each one to make sure it is coated. Let the chicken marinade for a minimum of 4 hours, maximum of 12.
- Before cooking, remove the chicken from the marinade and set carefully on a plate or sheet - at this time, you can spoon more marinade over the chicken to form a thick crust or leave it as-is.
- Oven: lay each chicken breast on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet (making sure they don't touch) and bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. [Optional: if you want them to have a blackened color, remove the chicken after the 35 minutes and turn on the broiler. Bake the chicken under the broiler for an additional 6-10 minutes, or until they're browned/blackened to your liking.]
- Grill: grill over medium/hot heat for 25-35 minutes, or until cooked completely through.