Balsamic Jerk Chicken Marinade


With spring coming in the northern hemisphere, I felt it would only be appropriate to share a perfect BBQ chicken recipe.  This is yet another nostalgia dish for me, as my dad makes it all the time! As kids we would have contests to see who could eat the most (sometimes he would make them so spicy we’d be crying, noses running, milk guzzling, but we’d plough through!).  I’ve described a slightly milder version, partly due to the fact that normally this dish is made with scotch bonnet peppers, but they’re nearly impossible to find out here in the sunshine coast, and partly so that more of you would find them palatable.


  • 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¾ tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 chili peppers (finely chopped.  Or, feel free to use Scotch Bonnet Peppers)
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well.  If marinating chicken breasts, slice diagonally about 1/2 way through to allow marinade flavour to reach more of the chicken.


Wings take no special preparation.  Place meat into a large ziplock bag, toss 3/4 of the marinade in after it.  Press all air out of bag and seal shut.  Turn bag several times to ensure marinade comes in contact with all meat surfaces.


Allow to sit of a minimum of 2 hours.  If marinating for 2 hours, it’s fine to leave it on the countertop.  If you are planning to leave it longer, toss it back in the fridge.

BBQ as desired.

Place the reserved 1/4 marinade in a small pot over medium heat on the stove.  Bring to a boil, and then turn down to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced.  Drizzle reduced marinade over bbq’d meat for extra flavour.


Wine Pairing: With a spicy chicken dish like this one, I’d choose a fresh, fruity wine.  The Abellio Albarino from Rias Baixas vinyard in Spain is a fantastic choice.


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