Best Barbecued Chicken
Sunday dinner is my favorite meal of the week. All my kids are home for dinner, including my married daughter and her husband. Most of the time there are 13 or more of us gathered around the dinner table. I like to go to a little extra effort for the occasion, and usually have something planned a day or two ahead of time. But last weekend it was 3:30 PM before I decided what to do.
Someone suggested homemade mac and cheese, an idea I was hapy to embrace. I knew I also wanted to do something with chicken, except it was still frozen solid. I microwaved a couple of jumbo-packs of thighs just enough to separate the pieces and peel off the skin. Then I stuck the frozen pieces into a large casserole dish in a 350-degree oven to thaw/cook for 15 minutes while I whipped up the barbecue sauce below. (Hint: be organized and start with thawed chicken and skip the previous step!)
Here's the sauce recipe, below. It is enough to barbecue 8-10 chicken thighs.
Sriracha Barbecued Chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2-4 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
In a medium sized saucepan, saute the garlic in butter for a couple minutes. Add ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, sriracha, celery seed, Dijon mustard, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside. At this point, the sauce is ready to use.
(Safety note: If you think you'd like some of the sauce set aside for dipping at the dinner table, put it in a separate bowl now. You don't want to serve sauce contaminated by brushes or spoons that have touched raw meat.)
At this point there are two ways that you can barbecue the chicken.
A. ) If you'd like to completely cook the chicken on the grill, do so by cooking it over medium heat for 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Baste with sauce. Grill 10-15 minutes more over low heat, or until juice runs clear. Continue basting and turning during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
HOWEVER-- if you're like me and prefer not to be standing over the grill as your guests are arriving-- or dealing with flame-outs and possibly charred chicken as your barbecue sauce drips down into the fire-- you may prefer this second method.
B.) Barbecue the chicken on a medium-high grill for 10-15 minutes, turning once half way through, until both sides of the chicken have nice grill marks. Once meat is marked on both sides, baste with sauce and cook 5 minutes more. At this point the meat will only be partially cooked. Set the meat into a clean casserole pan, and drizzle the remaining sauce all over the chicken. Cook chicken in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until juices run clear.
Either method will produce delicious chicken, but I think that completing the cooking in the oven is easier and less likely to burn. It also lets lots of sauce stay on the chicken, because basically the meat is cooking IN the sauce during that last half hour.
My family loved this BBQ'd chicken-- hope yours does too!