The Best BBQ Chicken… but the Worst Luck!

I can’t believe that it’s already late August, and that just next month, summer will officially be at an end! By the sound of the wind outside, I am actually wondering if summer’s still here at all actually! I’m pretty sure they’d send people home from work or school in England for “gale force winds” like these… but I guess here in Mattawa, it’s just a normal summer’s eve!

What’s funny, is that the last time I attempted to cook BBQ chicken, it was also an extremely windy day like today. I put my thighs on my BBQ (my chicken thighs that is) and within minutes I see flames and smoke appear over them like CRAZY, and realize… they’re on FIRE! The fat from the chicken, plus extremely high heat, plus crazy wind was NOT a good combination. So I extracted my pieces of charcoal and haven’t grilled anything since.

Then today I found a recipe for BBQ chicken that looked amazingly delicious and didn’t require any smoky grills–so I was really excited to try it, but just as I was in the midst of making it… my oven broke! {That makes my TV and my oven in the same week!} What the heck??! But, on the positive side of things, I found out that you can make this recipe on your stove top just as well as your oven or grill! Okay, that’s not really THAT positive is it? I mean, gale force winds, a sick family, a broken TV and now a broken oven, but it’s okay, because I made some awesome BBQ chicken! I’ll just shuttup and give you the recipe {and then go and cry!}

The ultimate barbecued chicken, from Tyler Florence.
Ingredients:
{for the brine}
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a large knife
4 sprigs fresh thyme
6 chicken legs and thighs, still connected, bone in, skin on, about 10 ounces each

For the BBQ Sauce
1 slice bacon/prosciutto works fine too
1 bunch fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika if available
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

For the brine, in a mixing bowl combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme. Transfer the brine to a 2-gallon sized re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours (if you’ve only got 15 minutes, that’s fine) to allow the salt and seasonings to penetrate the chicken.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. {PS I only had prosciutto, and which worked great too!} Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Once the sauce is done cooking, remove about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and reserve for serving along side the chicken at the table. The rest of the barbecue sauce will be used for basing the legs.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F. {If you’re oven is working!} :-(

Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue to a medium heat. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat it dry on paper towels. Arrange the chicken pieces on the preheated grill and cook, turn once mid-way, and cook for a total of 10 minutes. Option 1. Transfer the grill marked chicken to a cookie sheet and then place in the oven. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and then brush liberally, coating every inch of the legs with the barbecue sauce and then return to the oven for 25 to 30 more minutes, basting the chicken for a second time half way through remaining cooking time. Serve with extra sauce.

Option 2. Leave the chicken in the pan. Brush liberally with the BBQ sauce and turn after 5 minutes. Brush with more BBQ sauce and turn again and repeat until it’s cooked through (or no longer pink in the center) about 15 minutes.

Because BBQ Chicken is so classic summertime/American to me, I decided to serve it alongside my favorite summery American salad:
These pictures are making my mouth water. Seriously the best BBQ chicken I have ever had! The only thing that would make it better, is if it could fix my oven!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, but even more than that… I really hope you’re not having a week like mine!!

<3 Sarah