Easy Jerk Chicken (nightshade free)

Easy Jerk Chicken via StrictlyDelicous.com

I typed up a post for our How To Mondays yesterday but I didn’t really like it, so we’re going to go with a recipe post on a Tuesday instead!

And what a post I have for you! Cast iron works magic, I tell you.

Easy Jerk Chicken (paleo and nightshade free) via StrictlyDelicous.com

One of the banes of apartment living is the lack (or limited) of ability to grill. Whether your apartment doesn’t allow grills or you just don’t have the space (or security) to get a grill, you’re probably like me, often wishing for the smoky, crispy, juiciness of grilled meat.

As a stubborn cook, I’ve been able to work around my grill-less-ness, creating delicious recipes for both chicken and steak that kind of mimic the flavors they would get if cooked over charcoal.

Easy Jerk Chicken (paleo and nightshade free) via StrictlyDelicous.com

But scrolling through recipes this past weekend (if you know me, this is what I’m doing with 99% of my free time), a recipe for grilled chicken caused visions of gorgeous grill marks and flavorful marinades to dance through my head.

Still grill-less, I remembered the cast-iron grill pan my boyfriend’s grandmother had gotten me as a surprise “just because” gift.

After cooking for her and her husband one night, my boyfriend’s nana asked me what my favorite kind of cookware was. She was surprised when I told her it was heavy cast-iron! But a couple of weeks later, she surprised me with this fantastic grill pan. Although I’d never told anyone, I had been pining for a cast-iron grill pan for some time, hoping it would work as a kind of indoor, legal “grill.” She had no idea how perfect the gift was! I was so surprised and felt perfectly loved on! Gifts related to food are definitely top on my list.

Nanas are just the best, aren’t they?!

Easy Jerk Chicken via StrictlyDelicous.com

Anyway, I’ve got to tell you guys, grill pans WORK. Cooking this delicious chicken on the cast iron grill was not only quick and easy, but it tasted just like grilled chicken. Look at those pretty grill marks and that juicy meat! Glorious!!!

If you don’t have a grill pan, you can use a regular cast iron pan, a stainless steel skillet, or, of course, an actual grill.

Easy Jerk Chicken (paleo & nightshade free) via StrictlyDelicous.com

I’m so excited about this homemade jerk chicken recipe. The spice level is mild because I made it nightshade free, but if you’re not allergic and prefer more heat go ahead and add a diced habanero or two to the marinade.

Putting this caribbean inspired chicken dish together is sooo easy. And wildly delicious!

I feel like I got a taste of summer in the winter time. And I tell you, it never tasted so good.

Easy Jerk Chicken (nightshade free)

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings


  • 4 chicken thighs (you can use boneless skinless or bone-in)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt (or regular salt if you don't have smoked salt)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Add all ingredients to a large ziplock bag. Massage the marinade well into the chicken. Put the bag in the refrigerator and let it sit for 2-24 hours.
  2. After marinating, remove the bag from the fridge, take out and discard the bay leaves, and let the chicken come near to room temperature.
  3. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. You do not need to add oil to the grill pan. (If you don't have a grill pan, you can use a regular cast-iron pan or a stainless steel skillet. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in the pan.)
  4. Remove the chicken from the bag and add them to the grill pan, being careful not to crowd the pan. (I did mine in two batches.) Cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve with cauliflower rice for a full paleo meal!

Easy Jerk Chicken via StrictlyDelicous.com