Spicy Jamaican Barbecued Chicken

Because the flavour of chicken is mild, it benefits from a tasty baste when barbecued or broiled, such as in this recipe for spicy Jamaican barbecued chicken. Basting also helps to keep the outside from burning until the chicken is cooked through’especially when cooking over charcoal.

Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada


Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
4servings 20minutes 25minutes 1hour marinating
Servings Prep Time
4servings 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 1hour marinating
Servings: servings
Servings: servings
  1. To make the spicy Jamaican barbecue baste, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and chili and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Transfer to a large shallow bowl. Add the spices and the lime rind and juice, and stir well to mix.
  2. Make a few shallow slits in each piece of chicken, then add to the bowl. Turn the pieces to coat thoroughly with the baste, rubbing it into the slits in the meat. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  3. Prepare a charcoal barbecue. When it has burned down to coals covered with grey ash, remove the chicken pieces from the marinating baste and barbecue them for 20–25 minutes, turning and brushing frequently with the baste, until cooked all the way through.
  4. Alternatively, preheat the broiler. Arrange the chicken pieces on the broiler rack and cook until done.
  5. Serve the chicken hot, garnished with the lime wedges.
Recipe Notes

Spicy Jamaican barbecued chicken variations: For a red wine and thyme baste, fry the onion and garlic in the oil with 2 fresh bay leaves and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves. Add 3⁄4 cup red wine and 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse black pepper. • For a maple syrup and orange baste, fry the onion and garlic in the oil, then add 4 tablespoons maple syrup, the grated rind and juice of 1 orange, tablespoon snipped fresh chives and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon.

Per serving: 261 calories, 20 g protein, 19 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 101 mg cholesterol, 2 g total carbohydrate, 1 g sugars, 1 g fibre, 87 mg sodium

Chilies are more nutritious than sweet peppers, and the red varieties generally have a higher nutritional content than the green ones. They are very good sources of antioxidants, especially beta carotene and vitamin C.