Caribbean Spiced Rum Chicken Thighs, glazed with a barbecue sauce that is flavored with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and pineapple juice and then grilled, will have you dreaming of a trip to the islands. Honey and pineapple juice give the chicken sweetness, sriracha gives heat and the spiced rum, fresh ginger and five spice seasoning add lots of aromatic flavors to the barbecue sauce. When cooked on the grill, the rum glaze caramelizes as it cooks, adding lots of lip smacking good flavor to the tender juicy chicken.
I served the spiced rum chicken thighs, which were drizzled with a little extra sauce, alongside curried rice. The rice, seasoned with browned onions, curry powder, turmeric and fresh cilantro, complemented the flavorful chicken and added color to the plate.
Caribbean Spiced Rum Chicken Thighs
Serves two, adjust the recipe accordingly
- 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 c. catsup
- 1/4 c. pineapple juice
- 2 Tbsp. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum or spiced rum of your choice
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. sriracha or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp. five spice powder
- 4 chicken thighs
- salt and pepper to taste
- onion powder and garlic powder to taste, optional but recommended
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and add the garlic and ginger. Cook for about 30 seconds and then add all the other sauce ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce comes together. If the sauce appears too thick, you can thin with a little water. Set aside to cool. If the sauce separates after cooling, whisk before using.
Season the chicken thighs generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Spoon some of the cooled sauce over both sides of the chicken, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes but longer is better. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you are ready to grill. Reserve the remainder of the sauce. It can either be used to brush on the cooked chicken or poured into a bowl and passed around at the table.
Preheat your grill for 15 to 20 minutes until hot. (One zone on med. high and one medium.) Arrange the chicken skinned (presentation) side down on the high heat zone. Depending on how hot your grill is, cook for about 3 minutes with the lid down and then rotate the thighs 90 degrees to get crosshatch marks and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the chicken thighs over and cook the same way for another 4 to 6 minutes until done and the juices run clear. If the sauce appears to be getting too dark, move to the cooler cooking zone. When the thighs are done, remove from the grill and let rest a couple of minutes so that the juices redistribute.
*The trick to good grill marks is to turn the meat as little as possible. When done remove from the grill.
I hope you will try and enjoy my island inspired Caribbean spiced rum chicken the next time you grill. If you are having friends over, you might want to cook other parts of the chicken as well as the thighs, just adjust the cooking time and double or triple the sauce. The barbecue sauce is easily adapted to your own tastes. I used Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum because that is my husband’s favorite and we alway have it in our home. If you don’t have it, use any spiced rum or dark rum that you have on hand. The sauce is moderately spicy from the use of sriracha. While not nearly as spicy as the well known jerk marinade that is used in Jamaica, you can adjust the heat with whichever hot sauce that you like. Want it sweeter, add more honey. However you decide to make it, I believe you will enjoy Caribbean spiced rum chicken…it is lip smacking good.