Spicy Jamaican Jerk Chicken Appetizers 

What do you do after you soak boneless, skinless chicken thighs in spicy Jamaican Jerk marinade overnight?

You crank the heat up a notch and wrap them around Jalapeno peppers and Goat Cheese, that's what! 

If you're familiar with the unique flavor of caribbean jerk chicken then you'll fall in love with these appetizers.

They have that unique Allspice and Cinnamon flavor that you find at the road-side jerk stands across Jamaica. 

Jerk chicken usually gets it's heat from Scotch Bonnet or Habanero peppers but for this recipe we're using crushed red pepper flakes which give a nice slow long burn.

spicy carribean chicken appetizers

Soak the chicken thighs in the jerk marinade overnight for maximum flavor, wrap them around goat cheese filled jalapenos and secure with a toothpick.

Seriously, these appetizers have some heat but they're really not that bad.

Nothing that a jug of ice cold Margarita's couldn't fix.

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› Jerk Chicken Appetizer recipe


Serves: 8 (makes 24 appetizers)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Direct Heat: 400F - 425F

Tip: it's best if this chicken is allowed to marinate at least 4 hours but overnight is the best.

What you'll need: 

  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 12 jalapeno peppers
  • 12 tablespoons soft goat cheese

    For the marinade:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red peppers (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • grated rind and juice of 2 fresh limes

how to make jerk marinade

Step 1:
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.

Add the chopped onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and sautee until the onion is soft.

Transfer the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes to a medium glass bowl and add the remainder of the spices, lime juice and rind and mix well to combine.


boneless skinless chicken thighs

Step 2:
Lay the 12 chicken thighs flat on a cutting board and slice them in half length-wise to make 24 pieces.


how to marinate chicken thighs

Place the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and pour in the jerk chicken marinade.

Place the bag flat in a shallow dish (in case it leaks) and refrigerate at least 4 hour but overnight is much better.


marinated chicken with jalapeno and goat cheese

Step 3:
After the chicken has soaked overnight in the marinade remove the thighs from the bag and place them on your working surface.


jamaican chicken appetizers

Slice the jalapenos in half length-wise and remove the seeds.

Lay one of the jalapeno halves across a piece of chicken thigh and spoon in some of the goat cheese into the jalapeno.

Wrap the chicken thigh around the jalapeno and secure with a toothpick.


grilled jerk chicken appetizers

Step 4:
Preheat the grill to 400F - 425F and oil the grates of the grill really well.  This helps prevent the chicken from sticking.

Once the grill has reached temperature place each stuffed chicken bundle on the grill and close the lid.

After 5 minutes or so lift the lid and carefully wiggle each piece with your bbq tongs to loosen from the grill.  You can also slide a spatula under each piece to help loosen them if they're sticking.

If the chicken is showing nice grill marks and is browning up then go ahead and flip each piece over.

Continue cooking and keep moving each piece around and grilling on all sides so they brown up and cook evenly.

Once the internal temperature of the chicken (not the stuffing) reaches 160F remove them from the grill and keep covered with aluminum foil for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! (and don't forget the Margarita's)

how to make jerk chicken appetizers

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› Jerk Chicken Appetizer recipe

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