It is that time of year again. Summer is fast approaching, and it is time to be outdoors, and that means grilling, barbecues and barbecue sauce. There are many different dishes that can be served up, but one that is economical, enjoyed by most, and almost always available and affordable is chicken.
There is something about grilling chicken outdoors that cannot be beat. How you prepare the chicken I will leave up to you, skin on or skinless, plain or dry rubbed, but when it is time to start slathering the sauce on the chicken parts reduce the heat of the grill by turning down the burners on your gas grill or closing down the vents on your charcoal grill until the temperature goes below 265 degrees F. This is the burning temperature of sugar. After you have reduced the heat, slather on several layers of sauce. This will give the chicken a thick, sticky coating.
The secret to a good coating is to let the sauce cook onto the chicken. Slather the sauce to one side of the chicken and close the lid of your grill for about five minutes. Then open the grill, turn the chicken and sauce the other side. Continue in this way until you have a good coating of barbecue sauce. I usually do both sides at least three times. You should not add the sauce until the chicken is almost done. One easy way to cook the chicken is to skin it and precook it in the oven until it is almost done, because you will still be cooking it on the grill as it is coated with barbecue sauce, it will not be undercooked. Since it will be on the grill for at least fifteen minutes it will have all the flavor of having been grilled.
The amount of sauce I am suggesting be made should leave you with plenty to place in a pitcher for the table so that folks can drizzle more on if they so desire.
Please remember to use a separate container for the barbecue sauce that you are slathering on the chicken so that you do not take any chances of contaminating other foods with raw chicken. Highly unlikely to occur as you are not slathering the sauce on raw chicken, but why risk it?
- 3 cups good-quality ketchup
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons of dark amber maple syrup (Grade B is the best)
- 6-8 tablespoons of honey (local is always best)
- 4 oz of frozen concentrated orange juice
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder (not salt)
- 2 teaspoons of coarse ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (roasted is best)
- For those that like sweet and spicy add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
In a large saucepan, start by adding the ketchup and other liquids into the pan and as you slowly simmer the sauce add the rest of the ingredients, stirring occasionally, together with the honey and last the frozen orange juice concentrate. It really is that simple. Some may disagree, but bring the sauce to a soft boil and then reduce heat to simmer. This will really help thicken the sauce. Simmer for about thirty minutes and it’s done, and ready to cool down for storage.