The Secret to Fantastic BBQ Chicken
In my book, simplicity is key, and the secret to really great bbq chicken is... (ta da) really great chicken! A good non-factory chicken shouldn't need much dressing up--even with just some salt and pepper, it's very tasty. That said, I'm a sucker for Cornell barbecue sauce. The vinegar is really the best way to bring out the flavor of chicken (no coincidence that it's also the star ingredient for adobo!) Canonical recipe for a crowd is at http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/erie/...
(I decrease the amount of salt, and sometimes omit the egg-- you can google around for versions that are reduced to a more sane amount if you're not making 10 halfs at a time!)
tower smoker, applewood. make 2 sauces, one for basting (not sweet) and one for finishing/eating. you can do a modified beer-can chx thing in the smoker with beer can and also a pan of apple or citrus juice mixed with water, herbs and beer for steam, it will catch all the drippings from the chicken too. you'll need some more beer for the next several hours, and a long stick to keep the dogs and neighbors away.
If what you are looking for is chicken cooked on a grill, the recipe below for "Foolproof Grilled Chicken," (from Gourmet, June 2003) is perfect, from the brining process, to the grilling process, to the finishing sauce. Many times when I've made this recipe, people have told me it's the best chicken they've ever had:
BBQ chicken is simple, if you cook it indirectly. For bone-in, skin-on chicken, make a simple spice rub of your choice (paprika, garlic, black pepper, red pepper, kosher salt, cumin, brown sugar, celery seed is a good one) and rub on chicken pieces. If you're gas-grilling, turn on one or more burners and leave one completely turned off. (Indirect for charcoal depends on size/shape of grill, as well as whether you have a side-pocket to hold coals, etc). Put the chicken on the cool part of the grill, skin-side down, and cook for 15 minutes, mopping occasionally with cider vinegar. Turn over, cook for 15-20 more minutes (mopping still). If you like a sweet sauce or glaze, brush it over in the last 5 minutes of cooking so the skin doesn't burn. Chix will take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on grill temp, size of pieces, etc.
Also, if you really want to get everything out of your grill, get Stephen Raichlen's How to Grill cookbook. He simplifies grilling technique for all sorts of foods and de-mystifies everything from whole turkey to spareribs to fish and more.
re: Hungry Celeste
yes, spice rub, indirect heat and the grill w/' barbecue sauce.
I like Dinosaur Bar-B-Que spice rub (from the cookbook)
my guests were swooing.
I used to parboil chicken and then grill w/ sauce. Flavor gets left in the pot w/ the water.
Spice rub over indirect heat and then at the end high heat w/ sauce is the way to go.
I was watching Tyler's Ultimate BBQ Chichen on Food TV. It was a great episode as he disucssed the technique for great BBQ chicken without burning the sauce.
Recipe is below:
Tyler Florence’s Ultimate BBQ Chicken
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a large knife
4 sprigs fresh thyme
6 chicken legs and thighs, still connected, bone in, skin on, about 10 ounces each
The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce:
1 slice bacon
1 bunch fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika if available
Freshly ground black pepper
For the brine, in a mixing bowl combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme. Transfer the brine to a 2-gallon sized re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours (if you've only got 15 minutes, that's fine) to allow the salt and seasonings to penetrate the chicken.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Once the sauce is done cooking, remove about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and reserve for serving along side the chicken at the table. The rest of the barbecue sauce will be used for basing the legs.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue to a medium heat. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat it dry on paper towels. Arrange the chicken pieces on the preheated grill and cook, turn once mid-way, and cook for a total of 10 minutes. Transfer the grill marked chicken to a cookie sheet and then place in the oven. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and then brush liberally, coating every inch of the legs with the barbecue sauce and then return to the oven for 25 to 30 more minutes, basting the chicken for a second time half way through remaining cooking time. Serve with extra sauce
BBQ chicken with bbq sauce or just a good chicken on the grill?
The easiest bbq sauce I like is KC Masterpiece Original brushed over the grilled chicken so it reduces down and gets sticky.
The best way we make grilled chicken is with the beer can (soda can, marinade, whatever). Open a can, empty out half, plop on a chicken that's been rubbed with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, then let it grill for about an hour until the juices run clear.
You get a crisp skin and a moist, tender bird. I've heard if you stick half a lemon in the top of the chicken, it gets even moister because the internal steam gets trapped.