Grilled BBQ Chicken

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Ah, summer.  It's a time to take the cooking outdoors by using the grill.  There was no real, larger grill at my house until last August, when we decided to purchase a classic Weber charcoal grill.  Last year we unfortunately used the grill only once or twice, so this summer we have made a concerted effort to use it when possible.  No chicken is safe. 

My grandmother got the Deen Brothers Cookbook for me for Christmas last year, and as I flipped through it, many recipes caught my eye, but the main one was the barbecued chicken.  I am not much for barbecued chicken, but in the past I had never made my own sauce.  This changes everything.  To me, you can get an OK bottled sauce, but nothing that really makes me crave it and want more.  Homemade sauce, however, is so much better- it's a perfect viscosity and you can control the sweetness.  I know that many people think the same thing about making your own bbq sauce as making your own bread and granola- why bother?  Well, if the superior taste doesn't win you over, think about the fact that it only takes just a couple more minutes to created an infinitely superior sauce.  As is with so many homemade things, I love the fact that you have more control over the flavor.

I like the Deen brothers' sauce.  I like a slightly sweeter sauce, but I don't want the feeling I'm eating candied chicken.  This one has a good balance to me.  So, we made the chicken.  Grillmaster Drew got on the job.  We ate.  At this point I can't remember the sides we had with it, but the chicken was so good I think we've already made it twice and the sauce one or two other times since that first time.  For a couple of people who have only bought 3-4 bottles of barbecue sauce in the last 6 years, I'd say that it ranks pretty high on the BBQ sauce list.  Did I mention that it costs the same or less than bottled sauces?  Did I mention that buying a whole chicken is almost always more economical per pound than buying parts?  I love when things make sense and I save money.  This only applies, of course, when your husband and his teenage brother don't eat all the chicken in one meal (love you guys!), but I digress.

Grill this one this weekend.  It's a crowd pleaser!

Deen Brothers' BBQ Chicken
from the Deen Brothers' Cookbook
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F or prepare a grill (brush the grill grate lightly with oil).

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients except the chicken. Reserve 1/3 cup of the barbeque sauce; set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining sauce in the bowl, turning to coat.

Arrange the coated chicken in a roasting pan or on the grill. Cook (covered, if grilling) for 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked through, basting with the reserved 1/3 cup sauce after 20 minutes.

  • I don't have liquid smoke.  I didn't buy any for this recipe.  It just means less smoky flavor, but I can live with that.  Alton Brown has a method for making your own, but maybe that'll be a different post.
  • I didn't have fresh oranges to juice, and I didn't have OJ, but I did have some frozen OJ concentrate from another recipe I made, so I used that.  Because I like some sweetness, I did not reduce the amount, but if you go this route and want it proportioned as though it were prepared orange juice, I'd do maybe 2 teaspoons orange juice concentrate.
  • The charcoal grill is, to us, much better as it imparts a lot of great flavor that you miss with a gas grill.  We have found that using natural lump charcoal and a chimney starter gives a great flavor and much less fuss without the lighter fluid.  You can find these items anywhere- Lowes, Wal-Mart. 
  • The metal thing coming out of the chicken is a probe thermometer.  The best way to determine doneness for a chicken (and many other meats) is by using one of these.  The probe sticks into the chicken and attaches to a unit outside the grill.  It has an alarm to let em know when the chicken has reached the desired temperature.  In this case, that's 170 degrees. 
  • It's important to let your chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it or removing a thermometer probe.  Just take the chicken off the grill, put it on a platter, and loosely cover it with aluminum foil.  Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more moist chicken. 

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