Chicken Tonight

Last week we discussed lots of easy tips and techniques to make anyone a better “griller.” All you need now is a few terrific recipes to earn your reputation as king of the grill. Some recipes call for marinating chicken in a wet mixture while others use a dry spice rub before cooking and only add moisture at the end. We’ve got recipes for both methods here. You can try them all and decide which is your favorite.

Both barbecue sauce recipes below yield more than you need for one night’s dinner. You can keep it in the refrigerator for 2–3 weeks before using. Just be sure to take off a portion that you will use immediately. Never reuse the sauce that you’ve put a basting brush into and brushed on chicken. The bacteria will remain in the sauce. Separate whatever you will need for dinner and discard sauce once you’re done basting.

Ultimate Grilled Chicken

For the marinade:

  • 2 Tbs. ground mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 Tbs. brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tbs. onion powder
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 chicken bottoms

For the sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ Tbs. onion powder
  • ½ Tbs. ground mustard
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce

Make the marinade:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, except the oil and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pat chicken dry and place in a large glass bowl or baking dish. You can even use a Ziploc bag, but do not marinate in a foil pan. Add prepared marinade and turn chicken pieces to coat all sides. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Grill the chicken:

Thirty minutes before you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to a high temperature and brush grates well with a strong grill cleaning brush. Wipe grates with an oil-dampened paper towel and turn off one burner or pile charcoal to one side of the grill. This will give you a medium temperature of about 300°.

Place the chicken halves on cooler side of the grill, meat side down. Cover grill and cook for about 35–40 minutes. Flip chicken over and let it brown until the chicken becomes golden, about 15–20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce:

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes or until reduced and thick.

Brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Dry Rubbed Chicken

This rub makes more than you need for one dinner. Store it in a jar or container with your spices for up to 3 months.

For the rub:

  • ½ cup paprika
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. mustard powder
  • ¼ cup cinnamon
  • ¼ cup ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs. ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup granulated garlic
  • 2 Tbs. cayenne (or less to taste)
  • 12 chicken legs or drumsticks

For the homemade barbecue sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. yellow mustard
  • 1 Tbs. barbecue rub (recipe above)
  • 1 tsp. chili sauce or hot sauce

Mix the rub ingredients in a bowl. Put about ¾ cup of the mixture in a separate bowl or pan and coat the chicken pieces well. Store the remaining rub mix for other barbecues.

Preheat the grill to high and brush grates well with a strong grill cleaning brush. Wipe grates with an oil-dampened paper towel and turn off one burner or pile charcoal to one side of the grill. This will give you a medium temperature of about 300°.

Place the chicken halves on grill, meat side down. Cover grill and cook for about 30 minutes.

While the chicken is grilling, prepare the sauce:

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes or until reduced and thick.

Brush drumsticks generously with sauce, turning to coat all sides. Continue grilling another 10–15 minutes. Remove chicken and place on a platter. Serve immediately.

 

Here is another option for a delicious homemade barbecue sauce. This one ramps up the flavor with whiskey. Its smoky flavor adds depth to your sauce. Use it in place of the sauce above or try it on ribs or steaks. You can even stir some sauce into ground beef to create really flavorful burgers.

Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1/3 cup bourbon whiskey
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbs. hot sauce, optional

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes or until reduced and thick. Use as directed above.

Enjoy your dinner!