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Photo: Thomas J. Story Photo by: Photo: Thomas J. Story

Grilled Chicken with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce and Spicy Slaw

This recipe comes from Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, CO. Don't forget to pack a heatproof brush for basting the chicken.

Sunset AUGUST 2011

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Total:1 Hour, 45 Minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. hot sauce such as Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey such as Jack Daniel's
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • SLAW
  • 1 pound cabbage, cut into shreds
  • 1/4 red onion, cut into long slivers
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 chicken legs with thighs attached or small bone-in breast halves (3 3/4 lbs. total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil



1. Make sauce: Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer 45 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally with a long spoon (sauce spatters). Add a little water if sauce gets too thick to pour. Let cool, then transfer to a plastic container and chill up to 1 week.

2. Make slaw: Toss vegetables in a large bowl to blend. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Put remaining ingredients in a small container with a tight-fitting lid. Chill slaw and dressing up to 2 days.

3. Prepare chicken: In a large bowl, coat chicken in oil; pack in a resealable plastic bag and chill up to 2 days, or freeze.


4. Build a charcoal or wood fire in a grill and let burn to medium (350° to 450°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Bring salad dressing to room temperature. Set aside 1/2 cup sauce.

5. Grill chicken until browned all over, about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Turn again, generously brush tops with some of remaining sauce, and cook a few minutes; repeat turning and brushing 2 more times, until chicken is well-browned and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes total.

6. Toss slaw and dressing in a large bowl and serve with chicken and reserved sauce.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 463
  • Calories from fat: 41%
  • Protein: 36g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated fat: 4.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 30g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Sodium: 999mg
  • Cholesterol: 119mg

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Grilled Chicken with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce and Spicy Slaw recipe