When I was a wee little nugget aka a little lady, my favorite kind of chicken was chicken drumsticks. My mom grilled and baked them all the time for us, usually slightly coated or sometimes in zippy Puerto Rican spices with creamy beans and Spanish rice on the side. The chicken was incredibly juicy, so much more so than regular chicken breasts.
Now I wonder why I don’t eat it more often.
So today I’m bringing the drumstick back for a special occasion in honor of my friend Lexi‘s cookbook, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. In the book, Lexi focuses mostly on paleo-friendly recipes with bold, bright flavors.
Everything I read through looked FANTASTIC but as soon as I saw her recipe for jerk chicken, I knew that it needed to go down ASAP. Not only so I could share with all of you, but also because it’s perfect for summertime grilling and entertaining.
First, we must talk about the incredible marinade that the chicken is coated in for up to 24 hours: It’s a mix of scallions, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos (or tamari), lime juice, coconut (or brown) sugar and sweet zesty spices. I want to bathe in it.
Is that weird?
The chicken is grilled and brushed with additional marinade to keep it juicy. Lexi keeps the skin on in her original recipe, but I decided to take the skin off because I just felt it to be unnecessary. Don’t worry, the chicken still stays nice and juicy — even with the skin gone.
On the side, you’ll serve it with coconut caribbean brown rice with a hint of lime & sweet mango salsa that you’ll all summer long.
I’m SO SO in love with this recipe. It’s wonderful for parties and BBQs.
I hope you love it as much as I do, and be sure to pick up a copy of Lexi’s cookbook here!
P.S. If you’re looking for another delicious chicken drumstick recipe, try my baked peruvian chicken drumsticks.
More healthy grilling recipes to try:
Jerk Chicken with Caribbean Rice & Mango Salsa
- For the jerk seasoning:
- 1 large jalapeno, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife and peeled
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or gluten free soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- For the chicken:
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks, skin removed
- For the mango salsa:
- 1 cup diced mangoes (about
- 2 mangoes)
- ¼ cup finely diced red onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- For the Caribbean rice:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup lite coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon grated lime zest
- 1 avocado, sliced, for serving
Make the jerk seasoning: Place the ingredients for the seasoning in a food processor or blender. Pulse for 10 seconds, until the mixture is combined but not totally smooth. Set aside ¼ cup of the marinade, then transfer the rest to a large glass or ceramic dish or resealable plastic bag. Place the ¼ cup of marinade in the fridge.
Marinate the chicken: Pat the drumsticks dry, season them with a pinch of salt, and add them to the dish or plastic bag with the jerk seasoning. Mix to coat the chicken evenly, then marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
Thirty minutes before you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove the chicken from the marinade and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat a grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, prepare the rice and salsa.
Combine the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and set aside.
Make the Caribbean rice: In a skillet that has a lid, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the rice and stir until all of the rice is coated in the butter, about 1 minute, then add the water, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and lime zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 40 minutes, or until the rice is fluffy. Drain off any remaining liquid.
While the rice is cooking, grill the chicken: Brush the hot grill grate with oil. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 8 minutes, then flip, brush with the reserved marinade, and grill for an additional 8 minutes. Turn the chicken over one last time, brush again with the remaining marinade, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until no pink remains in the center of the chicken.
To serve: Place the rice on plates, then add the chicken, mango salsa, and sliced avocado.
Recipe slightly adapted with permission from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.