Nothing smells more delicious than barbecued chicken. When the sweet, syrupy smell wafts through the air, images of summer, campfires, and lake side picnics instantly come to mind. If you've never made homemade barbeque sauce you haven't lived. Simple to make and seriously satisfying, these recipes will take your campground dinner to a whole new place. I've got two recipes, one quick and easy, while the other is a little more difficult and time consuming. Try one, or the other, or both — get the recipes just
6 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. chile powder
2 tsp. dry mustard
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
3/4 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup low-salt soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Chipotle Tabasco or other chipotle hot sauce; more to taste
- Heat a gas grill to between medium and medium high.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar with the chile powder, dry mustard, and 1 Tbs. salt. Spread the chicken thighs on a large baking sheet and rub the spice mix all over them.
- In a small saucepan, whisk the remaining 4 Tbs. brown sugar with the ketchup, soy sauce, cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar and blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Taste and add a pinch of salt, if needed. Stir in the Chipotle Tabasco, adding more to taste.
- Spread the chicken thighs out on the grill, cover, and cook on the first side until they turn a deep reddish brown and begin to blacken in places (they'll also shrink and plump up), 4 to 5 minutes (rotate the thighs once 90 degrees on each side for the most even cooking).
- Flip the thighs and continue to cook on the second side until they're firm, deeply colored, and slightly blackened in places, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Using a brush, dab a generous amount of sauce over the top of the chicken, cook for 1 minute, flip, slather the other side with sauce, cook for 1 minute, and remove from the heat. Arrange on a platter and serve with any remaining sauce and the slaw if you like.
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 small shallots, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Two 3 1/2-pound chickens
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes
1 teaspoon pure chile powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup apple juice
Kansas CityStyle Barbecue Sauce, recipe below
- Marinate the chicken: in a bowl, blend together the vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Put the chickens in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal and turn to thoroughly coat the chickens. Refrigerate overnight, turning a few times.
- Light 50 charcoal briquettes using a chimney. Run the wand of a thermometer through a cork and use the cork to plug one of the air vents in the grill lid. Leave the remaining lid vents open and adjust the lower vents as needed (if the fire gets too hot, close the vents; too cold, open them).
- Make the rub & the mop: combine all of the rub ingredients in a bowl. Combine the wine and apple juice in a spray bottle or small bowl.
- Drain the chickens. Set them on a large rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle all over with the rub, inside and out.
- When the coals are hot, push them to one side of the grill and set a drip pan half-filled with water on the other side. Using tongs, transfer 4 of the hot coals to the chimney to light an additional 25 briquettes. Set the chickens breast side up on the grill grate over the drip pan, with their cavities facing the coals. Cover and cook for 2 hours, spraying the chickens with the mop every hour. Check the thermometer to maintain a temperature of 250° to 275°. Add more coals, 25 at a time, every hour or so as needed.
- After 2 hours, turn the chickens 90°, still breast side up, so their sides are facing the coals. Be careful when turning the chickens to keep the juices inside the cavities. Spray the chickens with the mop. Cover and cook for 1 hour, then turn the chickens so that their opposite sides are facing the coals. Spray again, then cover and cook for 1 to 11/2 hours longer, until a thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reads 170°.
- Transfer the chickens to a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the cavity juices into a serving bowl. Let the chickens rest for 10 minutes.
- Cut off the whole legs and transfer them to a platter. Slice the breast meat off the bone and transfer to the platter. Add any accumulated juices to the serving bowl.
- Serve the chicken with the juices and Kansas CityStyle Barbecue Sauce.
Kansas CityStyle Barbecue Sauce
3 cups ketchup
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons pure chile powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Makes about 1 quart.