It's that time, and here's a barbecue chicken with molasses-flavored sauce to make any Memorial Day cookout a tasty one. Photo by: Carl Tremblay/America's Test Kitchen via AP
May 16, 2018 10:47:11 AM
A tangy, tomatoey, molasses-laced sauce is the indisputable star of traditional American barbecued chicken.
The brick-hued sauce should be mopped on as the chicken cooks, resulting in a beautifully browned (not charred) exterior surrounding moist, evenly cooked meat. Our classic barbecue sauce gave simple chicken parts all the intense, multidimensional flavor we craved, but the real secret to this recipe was the method: A two-level grill fire allowed us to cook the chicken most of the way through on the cooler side of the grill, rendering the fat without causing flare-ups, and then we moved the chicken to the hotter side to get a lacquered layer of sauce.
Applying the sauce in coats and turning the chicken as it cooked encouraged the sauce to thicken and caramelize, perfectly glazing the chicken. Don't try to grill more than 10 pieces of chicken at a time; you won't be able to line them up. You can use a mix of chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, making sure they add up to about 10 pieces.
The sauce can be used on just about anything. For a thinner, smoother texture, strain the sauce after it has finished cooking.
CLASSIC BARBECUED CHICKEN
Servings: 4 to 6
Start to finish: 1 hour and 45 minutes (plus 30 minutes to prepare barbecue sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed
1 (13-by-9-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pan (if using charcoal)
1 recipe classic barbecue sauce (see below chicken recipe)
Nutrition information per serving: 349 calories; 74 calories from fat; 8 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 133 mg cholesterol; 1020 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 23 g sugar; 41 g protein.
CLASSIC BARBECUE SAUCE
Makes about 2 cups
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/4 cups ketchup
6 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard