Monday, June 13, 2016

bourbon chile sweet and smoky bbq chicken.

BBQ chicken is quintessential summer eating that I have the tendency to avoid.  It's not that I don't love BBQ chicken slathered in a tomato based sauce, it's just that most BBQ sauce is awful.

So awful.

Sauce where the only flavor is sugar (I'll save my sugar for dessert thank you very much).  Most are one dimensional and lack the complexity that I would expect from something that could be loaded with any number of exciting flavors.

Like this sauce which is chock-full of pretty much everything I find delicious in this world - namely bourbon, peaches, and chile.  The chicken gets marinated in part of sauce overnight which helps to tenderize and inject it with flavor.  The next day you cook it and baste it with more sauce.  The resulting chicken is tender, flavorful, and incredibly addicting.  It's BBQ chicken you will actually want to eat.   

Bourbon Chile Sweet and Smoky BBQ Chicken

Recipe from Tasting Table

For the BBQ Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ small yellow onion, minced
1- 2 red Thai chile—stemmed, seeded and minced
⅔ cup ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup bourbon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons peach preserves
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Chicken

One 3-to-4-pound chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
1½ cups bourbon-chile barbecue sauce, divided (it will use all the BBQ sauce you make)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Make the BBQ Sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and chile, and cook until lightly golden, 8 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using to marinate or baste.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Marinate the Chicken:  In a plastic bag, combine the chicken and ¾ cup of the barbecue sauce. Seal the bag closed and massage the barbecue sauce onto the chicken. Refrigerate overnight.

Cook the Chicken: The next day, light a grill. Remove the chicken and scrape off any barbecue sauce on the skin. Rub the chicken with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken on the grill, skin-side down, and cook, flipping once, until charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush with the remaining barbecue sauce, then transfer to a cooler spot on the grill. Cook, covered, until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160º and the barbecue sauce has caramelized, 10 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and let rest 5 minutes, then serve.

Alternatively, if you are not blessed with a grill, this can be made in the oven via the Smitten Kitchen method.   Simply place pieces of chicken on two very large pieces of foil, large enough to fold over chicken and form packets.  Turn the chicken pieces so their meatier sides are down, and tightly fold the foil around them to make two large packets.

Place two cooling racks (which will act as baking racks) on two baking sheets (one on each). Place a chicken packet on each and place one sheet on an upper oven rack and one on a lower. Bake chicken for 1 hour, then rotate baking sheets. Bake for another 30 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the thickest part of each chicken reads 155 degrees.  Finish the chicken by heating the broiler. Carefully open each packet of chicken and discard accumulated juices. Arrange chicken pieces on open foil packets, coat with additional BBQ sauce, and run each tray under the broiler until lightly crisped at edges and cooked through. Place on serving platter.

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