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Chef Ted Reader’s Slash and Grill Jerk Chicken w/ Honey Rum Baste


Prep time:

15 minutes

Cook time:

50 minutes



Difficulty level:


According to

What does the word Jerk come from?

According to most food history authorites, like Alan Davidson, and John Mariani jerk is a Spanish word that comes via the Peruvian word charqui, a word for dried strips of meat like what we call Jerky, in much of the world. The word started as a noun and then became a verb as in “Jerking” which meant to poke holes in the meat so the spices could permeate the meat. Jerk cooking experts like native Jamaican and author Helen Willinsky of “Jerk from Jamaica” says that the name Jerk also could have come from the turning of the meat in the marinade or from the way some folks will just jerk a strip from the roast on the BBQ. We just don’t really know.

Jerk chicken is arguably one of the tastiest ways to cook and season chicken.  Chef Ted Reader gives us his rendition of jerk chicken and WOW, this flavor just tumbles on your taste buds.   This has got to be a go to when cooking for a crowd or a party.  It’s absolutely gorgeous and delightful.

Known as the ‘Godfather of the Grill’, Chef Ted Reader’s charm and fearless culinary spirit has led Ted to become an award-winning chef, author, food and product innovation entertainer and a professor of Modern Culinary Applications Innovations at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College.

Ted’s culinary adventure began at George Brown College Chef School in Toronto, which to date has paved the way for his dynamic career. He cooks for all walks of life from swanky corporate affairs; to backyard BBQ parties and summer festivals.

Ted’s passion for all things smoked and grilled is extremely contagious. You’ll often find him spreading his gospel of BBQ at live cooking demonstrations and TV and radio appearances that keep fans salivating for more!


  • Jerk Marinade: (will need to chill overnight)
  • ½ cup hot jerk seasoning (found in ethnic section of most grocery stores. My favorite brand is Walker’s Woods Jerk Paste
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 oz. spiced rum
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 piece green onion/scallion
  • 1-2 oranges
  • 6 pieces fresh chicken legs, back attached
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Spiced Honey Rum Baste:
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 oz. spiced rum
  • 2 tbls butter
  • 2 oranges, halved


  1. In a bowl combine jerk paste, ¼ cup honey, olive oil and 2 oz. of spiced rum. Stir and set aside.
  2. Cut one orange in half and squeeze the juices into the jerk/honey mixture, cut what’s left of the juiced orange into 8 pieces. Add it into the mix.
  3. Chop the thyme and the scallion and add to the mix Stir and set aside
  4. Using a sharp knife slash/score the chicken legs on both sides about ¼ inch deep and 1 inch apart.
  5. Place slashed chicken legs into a large deep pan and pour over jerk marinade, turning the chicken pieces to evenly coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate and marinate for about 6-8 hours or even overnight.
  6. Prepare the Spiced Rum n Honey basting sauce for the jerk chicken. In a microwave, safe coffee mug or cup combine ½ cup of honey and 2 oz. of spiced rum. Heat for 30-45 seconds on high. Remove from microwave and stir in 2 tbsp. of cold butter, stirring until the butter is incorporated. Set aside
  7. Set your Hasty Bake up for indirect grilling getting the temperature to about 325 degrees F with the fire tray on the lowest setting
  8. Remove chicken legs from marinade brushing off excess marinade to reduce flare ups on your grill.
  9. Season chicken legs with freshly ground pink salt and black peppercorns.
  10. Place chicken on the coolest part of the grill and close lid. Smoke/roast chicken legs for approximately 45-60 minutes until the chicken is almost done and the legs are a mahogany color
  11. Raise your fire tray to about mid-range (bake)
  12. Grill chicken slowly over a medium fire for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with spiced rum n honey basting sauce, cooking to an internal temperature of 175 degrees F and the juices run clear. Tip: using the tip of a sharp knife cut down to the bone. If its brown its done, if its pink/red it’s not done yet.
  13. As the chicken is grilling, grill the orange halves. When chicken is done squeeze the grilled oranges over the jerk chicken and serve immediately.
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