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roasted jamaican jerk chicken cornish hens on oval platter

Juicy Roasted Jamaican Jerk Chicken

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 1hr 20m
  • Total Time: 1hr 40m
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Jamaican


You’ll love this juicy roasted Jamaican Jerk Chicken that’s flavor-filled and insanely delicious. Oven-roasted, cornish hens seasoned well with heaps of aromatics and basted with a swoon-worthy, lemon butter garlic sauce. This is such a perfect weeknight-friendly chicken dinner to make or whip up for any other occasion!


  • 2 whole cornish hens, cavities emptied- about 22 1/2 lbs each
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de provence
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 leaves fresh sage
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 slices of lemon, thinly-sliced
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar Walkerswood Jamaican jerk seasoning

For the basting/finishing sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small lemon, zested & then juiced
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon lightly dried parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Use a quarter sheet pan (or any baking vessel you have) fitted with a wire rack in place. Having a wire rack fitted on your baking vessel will ensure that the underside of the chicken gets roasted just as nice. Spray the wire rack with cooking spray and then set the baking vessel aside.
  2. Pat the skin of the hens dry using paper towels. In a small bowl, combine the herbs de provence and salt/pepper- to taste. Stir the seasoning blend to combine and set aside. Season the cavity of the hens with a bit of the seasoning blend. Then stuff the cavity of each hen with 3 sprigs of thyme, 3 sage leaves, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, and 2 lemon slices.
  3. Drizzle the outside of each hen with olive oil. Then use the remaining seasoning blend to season the outside of each hen. Now let’s lather the hens up with the jerk seasoning. Use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to lather each hen in jerk seasoning, getting all nooks and crannies. I use about 1/2 cup of the seasoning to cover both hens, but feel free to use more if you’d like. 
  4. Then truss the hen legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips into the crevice of the legs to hold them in place. Place the hens onto the prepared wire rack/baking vessel. 
  5. Roast the hens, uncovered, for 1 hour. Meanwhile, about 10 minutes before that hour is up, let’s prepare the basting sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, lemon zest + juice, minced shallot, parsley, garlic, and salt/pepper- to taste. Stir everything to combine and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then remove the sauce from heat and set aside.
  6. Back to the hens, remove from the oven, but do not shut off heat. Use half of the sauce to lather the hens all over. Then put the hens back into the oven to roast for another 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of each hen reads at least 165°F.
  7. Remove the hens from the oven. Brush the roasted hens with remaining sauce and let the hens rest for at least 10 minutes. Then cut the hens in half using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Serve this roasted Jamaican jerk chicken immediately. I love serving this roasted chicken alongside rice and peas and plantains. Enjoy!


  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: jerk chicken, jamaican jerk chicken, roasted chicken, roast chicken, jerk roast chicken, jamaican food, Caribbean food