X Factor Chicken Steaks with Whiskey Grilled Onions

Recipe adapted from Ted Reader. For more about Ted, visit tedreader.com.

“X Factor” is for the skewers that you use to add stability to the chicken thighs while they grill it. It makes them easier to flip.

“I’ve been making my Bone Dust BBQ Spice for many years and have included the recipe in many of my cookbooks. I use it for a variety of recipes throughout this book too. Many fans have told me how much they love Bone Dust. I love it too! Use it on ribs and chicken, steaks and chops. Have fun and get sticky!” -Ted Reader


  • Twenty-four 6-inch (15 cm) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for a minimum of 1 hour, or metal skewers, or BGE flexible skewers
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 + 2 tbsp (90 mL) Bone Dust BBQ Spice (recipe below)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion (Vidalia or Maui or Texas Sweets)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Drizzle of Maker's Mark bourbon
  • 1 cup (250 mL) your favorite gourmet-style barbeque sauce (I use my Crazy Canuck Sticky Chicken and Rib BBQ Sauce)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) kettle-cooked sour cream and onion potato chips
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh chives


Rub chicken with about 3 tbsp (60 mL) Bone Dust BBQ Spice, pressing the spices into the meat. Skewer each thigh with two skewers in an X pattern. This will keep the chicken flat during grilling. Set aside, keeping refrigerated.

Set EGG for direct cooking at 500°F/260°C.

Slice the onions into rings and place in a large bowl. Season with about 2 tbsp (30 mL) Bone Dust BBQ Spice, olive oil and a drizzle of bourbon. Mix.

Grill onions for 6–8 minutes per side, until lightly charred and tender. Put the onions in a bowl. Drizzle with a little more bourbon. Drizzle in a little bit of your favorite barbeque sauce and set aside, keeping warm.

Brush the chicken steaks with a little oil. Grill steaks, starting skin side down, for 6–8 minutes per side, until fully cooked (internal temperature minimum 160°F/70°C) and the skin is crisp. Baste with your favorite barbeque sauce after the flip. Remove chicken steaks from the grill. Remove X skewers and set aside until needed.

Crush the sour cream and onion potato chips and sprinkle over the grilled onions, add chives and mix it up. Place a mound of grilled onions on top of each grilled chicken thigh and serve.

Bone Dust BBQ Spice Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) paprika
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) chili powder
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) curry powder
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) hot mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  •  1 tbsp (15 mL) dried basil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) cayenne pepper

Bone Dust BBQ Spice Instructions

Mix together the paprika, chili powder, salt, coriander, garlic powder, sugar, curry powder, mustard powder, black pepper, basil, thyme, cumin and cayenne. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from heat and light.

Makes about 21⁄2 cups (625 mL)

Reprinted from Gastro Grilling: Fired-Up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals (Pintail; March 26, 2014)

Photos: © Mike McColl

Recipe: © Ted Reader, 2013

1 thought on “X Factor Chicken Steaks with Whiskey Grilled Onions”

  1. Tried for the first time tonight. Excellent recipe. Altered it a bit by just doing salt and pepper on a couple of the thighs, and used regular chips instead of sour cream and onion. Everything tasted so good, and everyone in the family loved it. Will be making this one again and again.

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