Dining In: Jamaica’s Jerk Seasoning

A great barbecue tradition.

By Chef David Lapham | Photography by Whitney Lawson

Nothing sets Jamaican cuisine apart more than jerk. The island staple dates back to the Taíno Indians who lived on Jamaica and is composed of a delicate—and almost revered—balance of spices. These spices are typically rubbed onto chicken that is then slowly grilled to a smoky-sweet perfection. Jerk works especially well with chicken wings and can easily be prepared in the oven. Finger-licking good, indeed.

Jerk Chicken Wings

3 lb chicken wings

6 scallions, trimmed and chopped

½ Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, seeds removed and chopped

3 garlic cloves

¼ cup malt vinegar

2 tbsp dark brown sugar

2 tbsp allspice

1 tbsp fresh thyme

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

½ tsp nutmeg

lime wedges (for garnish)

Combine all ingredients (except chicken wings and lime wedges) in a food processor and blend until smooth. In a bowl, toss chicken wings in the mixture and refrigerate for one hour or more. To cook, preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the coated wings out evenly on the sheet. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Note: For a spicier version, use both halves of the pepper.

Serves 4.

RCI® affiliated resorts in Jamaica include:
Secrets Wild Orchid by UVC C560

You can unwind on a catamaran at this award-winning adults-only resort. 1 Secrets Cove, Montego Bay
Member Review: “Gorgeous views from every room.”

Secrets St. James by UVC C562

Shares amenities with Secrets Wild Orchid by UVC. 1 Secrets Cove, Montego Bay
Member Review: “The entertainment staff was fun and engaging.”

Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa C719

Kayaking, snorkeling and boating are just a few of the activities on offer at this oceanfront retreat. Indies Point, Lucea
Member Review: “Extremely clean with top-notch restaurants.”

Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa DD78

Shares amenities with Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa. West Indies Point, Lucea
Member Review: Not yet rated

For complete member reviews (as member reviews have been condensed) and additional resort listings, visit RCI.com or call 800-338-7777 (Weeks) or 877-968-7476 (Points). Club Members, please call your specific Club or RCI telephone number.

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Non-RCI affiliated resorts in Jamaica include:
Half Moon Resort

Offers cottages along a crescent-shaped beach and an equestrian center. Montego Bay; 876-953-2211; halfmoon.com; doubles from $299* a night

Jake’s Treasure Beach

Family-run boutique hotel specializing in activities such as boating and bird-watching. Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach; 876-965-3000; jakeshotel.com; doubles from $95 a night

  • *Prices have been converted to U.S. dollars.
  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: October 2016