When I lived in Adams Morgan (in DC) back in the 90s, I used to walk over to the local Jamaican restaurant on 18th Street at least once a week for Jerk chicken or beef. OMG, so flavorful, delicious and satisfying! Back then, ready-made Jerk seasoning mixes were hard to find, so I couldn’t easily make my own JJ foods at home. But now, they are readily available, so it’s quick and easy to make your own Jamaican Jerk dishes. Just be sure to choose a jerk seasoning mix (like this) that is “clean”, ie. doesn’t contain sugar, dextrose, artificial colors or flavors, sulfiting agents, or other less-than-optimal ingredients.
You can make your own JJ blend really easily (check out this Whole30-friendly mixture), which saves you money, and you can adjust the spice level to your preference (definitely choose this option if you don’t do spicy, as most ready-made Jerk blends contain scotch bonnet or other hot peppers).
Once you’ve got your Jamaican Jerk seasoning mix in hand – either purchased or homemade – this dish goes together super fast; most of the “prep” time is hands-free while the drumsticks are cooking in the oven, leaving you free to make your side dishes – coconut rice and/or a simple salad go great with these! (Note: You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe – they’ll just need to be cooked a bit longer since they’re bigger/meatier).
Jamaican Jerk chicken drumsticks are a great picnic or potluck food (check out my Deviled Eggs 10 Ways, Creamy Coleslaw, and Faux-Tato Salad for other good picnic/potluck options), and as long as your spice mix is “clean” (see above guidelines), they are Paleo, low carb, Keto, cleanketo, and Whole30 friendly. Enjoy!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Drumsticks
- 4 lbs chicken drumsticks
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 2 Tbsp jerk seasoning mix see notes above
- 2 limes
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Brush chicken with oil and sprinkle evenly all over with jerk seasoning.
- Grease a casserole dish or line with aluminum foil for easier clean-up after.
- Place seasoned drumsticks in casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly (= thickest part of drumsticks @ 165°F with a meat thermometer).
- While the chicken is cooking, cut limes into wedges.
- When chicken is cooked, remove from oven and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Squeeze lime wedges over chicken and serve hot.