Recipe: Coconut-Marinated Jerk Chicken

Spice Island Chicken

Clean Eating’s easy Caribbean-inspired chicken marinates in a sweet and spicy sauce for a juicy, delectable main dish. The secret powerhouse in this marinade? Coconut water. It’s low in calories, high in potassium and fat- and cholesterol-free. Serve with your favorite fresh tropical fruit such as mango, pineapple or papaya. With a freezer life of 3–4 months, double up on this convenient recipe, and pull it out on busy nights for an easy, low-prep meal.

Marinated Jerk Chicken


  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • Pinch crushed red pepper or 1 hot pepper, minced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh tropical fruit (such as pineapple, mango or papaya), diced


In a bowl, whisk all marinade ingredients together. Place 1/4 cup of the marinade in a small resealable plastic bag or container, and refrigerate. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag, then pour in the remaining 3/4 cup marinade. Press out excess air while sealing the bag tightly, then store flat in fridge. Allow chicken to marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat a sauté pan on high. Add the oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot but not yet smoking, place the chicken in the pan, discarding the remainder of the marinade from the bag. Sear for 2–3 minutes, and flip the chicken. Season the cooked side with salt and pepper, while searing the bottom for an additional 2–3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and put in the oven. Roast for 10–12 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked (no longer pink in the middle).

While the chicken is in the oven, combine the 1/4 cup reserved marinade and tropical fruit in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the chicken is ready.

Serve the chicken with 1/2 cup fruit mixture.


Want to freeze this recipe for a busy weeknight? Stick the sauce and marinated chicken bags into the freezer. Marinated chicken may be frozen for 3–4 months.

When ready, remove the bags from the freezer, placing them on a tray (to catch any liquid that may drain off while defrosting) in the refrigerator. Allow the chicken and marinade to defrost overnight or for about 24 hours. (Raw, marinated chicken may be kept refrigerated for an additional 24 hours after it has completely defrosted.)

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 |  Serving Size: 4 ounces chicken + 1/2 cup fruit

Per serving: Calories: 225; Total Fat: 5; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 311mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 16g; Protein: 26g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 351mg; Iron: 4%; Vitamin A: 20%; Vitamin C: 90%; Calcium: 4% 

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