home cooked dinners by the season

Grilled Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Grilled Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Lime Sauce

My inspiration for this recipe was a recent sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands. The warm, tropical temperature, the brilliant turquoise water and the laid back atmosphere of this part of the world are nothing short of amazing. Most of the beachside restaurants offered jerk chicken.

This recipe packs flavor. I’ve tried to keep the ingredients to a minimum while still all the necessary ones to make the marinade taste authentic. Habanero chiles are the small orange ones in the produce section. They are spicy! Be sure to remove the seeds (they have ¾ of the spiciness) and wash your hands, knife and cutting board thoroughly after touching them. I have given a range on the amount of the Habanero for those that like it spicier.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thinly make grilling go quickly. Bone-in and skin on chicken can be used and will have more flavor from the skin and bones.

The Cilantro Lime dipping sauce gives each bite of chicken a cooling effect.

Grilled Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Lime Sauce
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2-3 tablespoons (2-3 chiles) coarsely chopped Habanero chiles (seeds removed)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each (bone-in, skin on chicken breasts can be substituted)
  • Fresh lime wedges

  • Cilantro Lime Sauce:
  • 1 cup sour cream (light sour cream can be used)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  1. Puree green onions, Habaneros, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, allspice, thyme leaves, salt, cinnamon and black pepper in a food processor until smooth, scraping down sides a few times.
  2. Pound chicken breasts to ½-inch thickness.
  3. Marinate the chicken in the jerk marinade, refrigerated, at least one hour or overnight, turning once during marinating.
  4. For the Cilantro Lime Sauce, puree sour cream, cilantro, lime juice and honey until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until using.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium heat.
  6. Grill chicken until cooked halfway, about 8 minutes; turn and cook until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature 165 degrees F) about 6-8 minutes longer. If using bone-in, skin on chicken breasts, put the skin side down on the grill first and allow about 10-15 minutes extra time for cooking.
  7. Serve grilled chicken with Cilantro Lime Sauce for dipping and lime wedges for squeezing over chicken.


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10 thoughts on “Grilled Jerk Chicken with Cilantro Lime Sauce”

  • Patty:

    Painkillers! It is the Carribean drink of choice. Rum, Pineapple juice, coconut milk, splash of Orange Juice, crushed ice and fresh ground nutmeg on top! Ya Mahn!

  • Once again, this became an instant favorite with the family. It seems that everything I make from Linda’s treasure trove of recipes is a big hit. She always makes me look good. My 12 year old literally licked the plate clean!! Kids helped me cook this time so they can make on their own next time – simply wonderful!!

    • Thank you Nancy. It is always great to hear from you your recipe successes with the family – especially. I love hearing your kids are cooking too. I hope all is well with your family!

  • This sauce has been a base for so many varieties in our house, and is delicious as written, of course. They’re always a hit!

    Many thanks:)

  • I only made the dip in this recipe since I had some seasoning from Jamaica I wanted to use for kabobs, but this dip was AMAZING! It was perfect for cooling down the spice of the seasonings. I will be using this one again for sure! Thank you!

    • Thank you for letting me know Nicole. I developed this recipe after sailing in the British Virgin Islands many years ago after experiencing their Jerk chicken. For the fabulous flavor it delivers it is an easy one to make.

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