Jamaican Jerk Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken for New Year’s!

Woodstove, Fireplace & Patio Shop

If you want to try a Jamaican Jerk Rub recipe from scratch on New Year’s that will blow your mind, then read on! This recipe is for you.

This Jamaican Jerk Spice Paste is fragrant and dresses up your average chicken or pork. There really is no comparison for making this fragrant rub from scratch versus using a store-bought rub.



  • 1 whole chicken, backbone removed – spatchcocked
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries (ground is okay too)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves (fresh is even better)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped habanero or scotch bonnet pepper with seeds removed (if you cannot handle heat you can omit this part but please still add dash or hot sauce)
  • Zest and juice of one large lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil



Make your spice paste: Combine all your ingredients in the food processor, starting with the olive oil first, and mix until it forms a paste consistency- you can adjust olive oil if you want your paste more liquid.

Butterfly the chicken: I’d recommend buying the chicken at a butcher where you can ask them to do this for you. If you don’t have them do it, you will need to use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone and then press down on the chicken with the palm of your hand to help flatten the bird.

Use your finger and loosen the skin on the bird, but be careful not to tear it. Rub the seasoning paste under the skin all over the chicken and then repeat on the outside of the skin. Cover the bird or put in a Ziploc bag and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

Grilling: Preheat your grill to medium, about 350 degrees. Grill the bird, pressing it as flat as possible and flipping/arranging every so often so no side gets too charred (at least every 10 minutes). Total cooking time should be between 35-40 minutes. After the bird reaches an internal temp of 170 at its thickest point, remove from the grill and cover with foil. Let the bird rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting so it has time to reabsorb juices.

Serve with your favorite coleslaw, grilled romaine or favorite grilled veggies and Texas toast. If you make this for your family, they will think you are a grilling genius!

Notes: “Spatchcocked” is really just a funny way of saying grilled butterflied chicken. Much like you need to butterfly a Cornish game hen (which is a small chicken) so it will lay flat on the grill, you need to do the same with a whole chicken. Removing the backbone allows the bird to lay flat so the bird can cook more evenly on the grill.


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