Jerk Chicken Chili


If you’ve had your fill of traditional chili, this Caribbean inspired version is bold, spicy and packed with flavor. If you love Jamaican jerk chicken like I do, you’ll love this hearty chili. You might even find yourself stopping mid-recipe and simply eat the marinated jerk chicken right off the grill!

The marinade is a key part of this recipe. I like to marinate overnight – especially if you’ll just be eating the jerk chicken.

Adjust your heat levels with the amount of hot peppers. I use two habaneros in the final step and it’s mighty spicy! Sauteed plantains also go wonderfully as the sweetness and the starch help balance the heat.

There is an easy cheat code for this recipe if you want to skip the marinade step and get right to it. Simply replace the chicken thighs with a whole, large rotisserie chicken. Shred it by hand and add it to the chili during the final two cooking hours. It’s a 9/10 doing it this way and a 9.8/10 if you marinate those thighs. Your call. Either way, you’re going to love the bold flavors of this one!

Jerk Chicken Chili

Big, bold flavors
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
1 day
Total Time: 1 day 4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: Chili, Jamaican
Servings: 12


  • Crock Pot
  • Food processor


  • 3-4 lbs Chicken thighs - skinless


  • 1 med White onion - coarse chop
  • 4 stalks Green onion - coarse chop
  • 2 whole Scotch Bonnet or Habanero peppers - coarse chop
  • 3/4 cup Soy sauce - low sodium
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 whole Lime - juiced
  • 1/4 cup Avocado oil
  • 2 TBSP Allspice berries, whole - ground in M/P
  • 1 TBSP Black peppercorns, whole - ground in M/P
  • 1 TBSP Dried Thyme - ground in M/P
  • 1 TBSP Brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt

For the Crock

  • 1 LG White onion - med dice
  • 2 Med Bell peppers (1 red, green) - med dice
  • 2 Habaneros or Scotch Bonnets - seeded and minced
  • 6 cloves Garlic - grated
  • 1 tbsp Fresh ginger - grated
  • 28 oz Seasoned black beans or kidney - drained
  • 28 oz Crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz Diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup Jerk seasoning
  • 4 cups Chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp Dark brown sugar

Post Cook

  • 1 Lime - juiced
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro - chopped for garnish
  • 3 sprigs Green onion - sliced for garnish
  • Sour creme - optional


  • After grinding dry spices with a mortal and pestle, add all marinade ingredients to food processor and puree. You should have a fairly smooth paste. Arrange chicken in a pan covered in the marinade and refrigerate overnight for best results.
  • Next day, remove chicken from pan leaving a light coating of marinade on the chicken.
  • Fire up the gas grill and preheat the crock pot on high heat. On the grill, cook chicken until lightly charred on all sides. Remove from grill. It will not be fully cooked yet.
  • Add all crock ingredients to the pot (minus limes and garnishes) combine. Add the chicken so it's submerged in the mixture. Cook on HIGH heat for 1 hour, then turn to LOW for another 2 hours.
  • After 3 hours, heat off. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pot. Add the juice of two limes to the pot and stir. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve topped with chopped cilantro and green onions. A dollop of sour creme in the center to dial back the spiciness if needed!

Rotisserie chicken method

  • Omit marinade step. By hand, shred a large, whole rotisserie chicken into bite sized pieces and place shredded chicken into crock only for the final hour of cooking.


Adjust your heat level by choosing 1 or 2 hot peppers. Remember, you already have some heat from the marinade!
You can use bone in or boneless thighs, just be sure to remove the bone when shredding. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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