Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. hot sauce, divided
1/4 cup packed plus 2 tsp. light brown sugar, divided
1 lime, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 to 5 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts and leg quarters
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) melted salted butter
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
How to Make It
Whisk together buttermilk, water, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup of the hot sauce, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved; stir in lime slices and garlic.
Place buttermilk mixture and chicken in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag; seal bag, and chill 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; pat dry with paper towels.
Heat a grill to medium (350°F to 450°F) with an area cleared of coals (for charcoal grill) or a burner turned off (for gas) to make an indirect heat area. Place chicken, skin side up, over indirect heat, and grill, covered, until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Whisk together ketchup, butter, vinegar, and remaining 3 tablespoons hot sauce and 2 teaspoons brown sugar.
Brush ketchup mixture onto both sides of chicken; transfer, skin side down, to direct side of grill, and grill, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes or until skin is browned and crispy; turn and grill, uncovered, 1 to 2 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
This was truly a great brine - the chicken was flavorful (not too salty or spicy) and incredibly moist. It crisped up so nicely on my gas grill, using indirect heat. I didn't make the sauce but grabbed my Sweet Baby Ray's for convenience so I can't comment on that, but the chicken itself was superb.