Jerk chicken chili: What’s the secret weapon that makes this chicken chili so completely addicting?

The cold weather is upon us here in New England and when the days turn cold, all I want to do is cook warm food.  I’m no different than anyone else, right?

But I think I may have an advantage.  See, I’ve got Pam Anderson’s Perfect One-Dish Dinners and no matter my mood, there is always a fantastic recipe waiting for me to make in just one pot. So considering I’ve been working 10+ hour days for the past 3 weeks, this jerk chicken chili couldn’t have come at a better time.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sucker for chili.  I love it any which way and this way is a definite winner. Rich, warm, and luxurious.

jerk chicken chili

The Secret Weapon of this Jerk Chicken Chili

The cinnamon brings flavors of the Middle East and North Africa and infused with some heat from the jalapeños and chili powder, you’ve got an incredible chili that makes me want to hop on a cruise ship and head towards the Caribbean.  I love that there’s lots of shredded chicken in this chili and I love even more that I didn’t have to cook the chicken. Though you could certainly use leftover roast chicken if you have some!

Yep, take the easy way for this dish and pick up a cooked roaster from your grocery store! The most laborious part of the whole dish is picking the chicken but I certainly don’t mind doing so when someone else cooked it for me!

I made some small changes to the recipe and the recipe below reflects them, basically, omitting half of the tomatoes and draining off some of the bean juices before the beans went into the pot.  The chili starts out with quite a bit of liquid and I was afraid the chili would turn out soupier than I would like. 

And after all of that, I ended up adding a cornstarch slurry towards the end of the cooking time because the sauce just wasn’t thick enough for my preferences.

Regardless of needing to make some changes, this chili is AWESOME! And since it makes enough for a crowd, it’s going on my Thanksgiving weekend menu to use up some of that leftover turkey.

Jerk Chicken Chili

  • Prep Time: 15min
  • Cook Time: 35min
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


The beauty of making this simple chicken chili is using a store-bought rotisserie or leftover roast chicken which drastically reduces the cooking time versus cooking chicken in addition to the chili on the same day. Leftover turkey at Thanksgiving works just as well too!


1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 large rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (about 6 cups)
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) black beans, undrained or partially drained
1 can (15 oz) small white beans, undrained or partially drained
2 tbsp chopped pickled jalapenos
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 oz semisweet chocolate
2 tbsp cornmeal or 3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water (optional for thickening)


  • 01

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon, and allspice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • 02

    Add chicken and stir to coat with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and jalapenos, bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce heat, and simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.

  • 03

    Stir in garlic, cilantro, chocolate, and either cornmeal or cornstarch/water slurry if desired.  If you add the cornstarch slurry, bring the heat up to medium-high and allow the chili to thicken.  Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

adapted from Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson

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Leave a Comment

  • November 4, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    Another friend of mine told me chili tastes better with chocolate and cinnamon, and now seeing this recipe I’m super interested to try it.

  • November 4, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    I can’t wait to try this one; it looks absolutely delicious!

  • November 4, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    I agree with you !! I absolutely love this dishes..Yours is great!

  • November 4, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Meet the Sullivans

    I am a big fan of one dish dinners as well. This one looks delicious! I made a white bean chili this week. It was a winner!

  • November 4, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    ooooh Joey would LOVE this!

  • Kim
    November 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    I am adding this to my things to make. My husband is going to love me for it. He loves Jerk Chicken anything. Thanks for sharing!

  • November 4, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    YUM!!! Time to make me some chili again…

  • November 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    What a great twist on traditional chili! I love jerk anything, would have never thought of jerk chili! This is going on my menu ASAP!

  • November 4, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    Interesting chili recipe! I’m always looking for new variations, and I love the flavors of jerk seasoning. Looks wonderful!

  • November 6, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    yum, delicious cold weather chili! looks tasty!

  • November 6, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    Wow, the jerk flavors in a chili! I love both so of course I am going to have to make this.

    Thank You


  • November 10, 2010 at 6:05 AM

    What a unique chili idea! Love the cinnamon and chocolate in there!

  • November 10, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    I’ve never had a chili like this before – it looks great! I’ll confess, I’m also a sucker for chili …

  • November 10, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    I made this tonight and it was a HUGE HIT! I LOVE IT!!!

  • Lizzie
    November 11, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Thanks for the great recipe! I made this in my slow cooker (dumped the first 14 ingredients in and cooked on high for about 3 hours, then added the chocolate and cilantro and turned it to low for an hour). I also used cubed chicken breast meat (raw) and it gets tender enough to shred with a fork after sitting in the slow cooker. So delicious! Thanks again!

  • November 12, 2010 at 3:57 AM

    Wow what a novelle idea to incorporate chocolate with the hottest of all”Chili”..I am sure to try it…

  • November 12, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    wow this looks and sounds wonderful!
    Though today is a warmer day for New England 😉

  • November 15, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    I made this a few days ago and just blogged about it! It was WONDERFUL!

  • November 15, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Supper for tomorrow has been chosen. Thanks for the post!

  • November 15, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Yum, this chili looks delicious!! It’s one of the best things to look forward to during the winter! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living’s Champion Chili Contest It looks delicious!

  • November 19, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    The meal was delicious!!:) Thanks.

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  • January 22, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    When I read through this I thought this sounded so interesting. I was surprised at how normal it did taste with just a slight change with the cinnamon and allspice flavor. But.. I ended up just putting normal jalapenos in and I took out the seeds. Now.. it ends up I kind of wanted a little more spice. Are the pickled jalapenos spicier? Because I also didn’t want too much spice.

  • […] (Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Perfect One Dish Dinners via Smells Like Home) […]

  • March 25, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    I hope you love it! It’s been a while since I’ve made it but I may need to get it in my meal rotation soon enough. Enjoy!

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