perfect Labor Day bbq chicken

Alex, our teacher/chef, has come up with a perfect marinade for your Labor Day barbecue. Give it a try and impress your family and friends with a lip-smacking “end of summer” meal.
For weeks now I’ve tried finding a good way to make Bone-in-BBQ-Chicken. For some reason, however, the dish always goes awry. Usually, I have two problems… Bland and unevenly cooked chicken.
It’s not the flavors I put into the dish, but rather the amount of flavor I get back on my investment. I don’t get it! Recipes say, “Coat in marinade and let sit for 4-6 hours.” That’s never enough… My chicken tastes like, well, chicken! And we all know chicken without seasoning or sauce is flavorless.
Recently, however, I’ve realized the trick to fix this problem. MARINADE OVERNIGHT!!!
It’s SOOOOO worth the trouble to spend 20 minutes before hitting the sack to prepare a marinade and smother my chicken in it over night and into the next day. Trust me on this! Marinating for a few hours doesn’t work as well as overnight.
The other problem? Unevenly cooked chicken. It’s usually cooked outside and raw inside or cooked inside but burnt on the outside! I don’t get it. Well, that is, until now! I’ve realized the secret. Patience and utilizing a variety of heat levels on your grill. I’ll fill you in…
Here’s my very new recipe for Sweet ‘n Spicy BBQ Chicken
For the marinade:
1/2 C Ketchup
1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
6 T Brown Sugar
2 T Sriracha
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
4 t Garlic Powder
4 t Worcestershire Sauce
3 t hot sauce of your choice (I used a Louisiana Hot Sauce because I like the vinegary quality of it)
1 t Honey Mustard
1 t Dijon Mustard
2 t Paprika
10-12 Chicken Drumsticks
Combine all marinade ingredients in medium bowl… Whisk together and be sure to break up any clumps in brown sugar and Paprika (You can do this with your hands before adding wet ingredients if you like). Once all ingredients are well mixed set aside.
Under cold running water, rinse chicken. Pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken in Ziplock bag. Pour marinade into bag. Let all air out and seal. Mix marinade around to cover chicken well. Place the bag on a dish and refrigerate overnight. Like I said earlier, doing this the night before really flavors the chicken so beautifully.
When you’re ready to grill up your chicken, remove the chicken for the Ziplock bag. Don’t throw away that marinade!! Instead, pour it into a sauce pan and turn it to high. While stirring, bring the sauce to a boil and cook for a few minutes (1-2 should be fine, but if you’re nervous let it go for a little longer). You’re just killing any bacteria that came from the chicken. This makes a great basting sauce or additional BBQ sauce for dipping…
Set your grill up with a classic Indirect Grilling Setup. (For example, if you’re grill has three burners, like mine, turn the outer burners to medium and the middle burner off. If you have a charcoal grill, heat the coals and evenly distribute them on two sides of the grill with a drip pan in the center.)
Now, take the chicken and brush a little olive oil on them (or on the grill grates where you’re going to be placing them.).
To start, place the chicken directly over the fire on one side of the grill. This will let the chicken sear and carmelize the sugars in the sauce. After a few minutes, once the outside looks nice and seared, turn to do the same on the other side. Make sure to keep the lid of the grill closed during the cooking. It helps cook the food more quickly and evenly.
Once the second side is nicely seared, move the chicken to the center of the grill (over no direct heat). Continue cooking the chicken here. This method allows you to get those beautiful and tasty sear markings on the chicken but prevents the outside of the chicken from burning. When the chicken is nearly cooked (it took me about 10 minutes for the searing [5 minutes per side] and another 10-15 minutes or so in the center of the grill), I take the sauce that was boiled for a few minutes and baste the chicken to get more of that sweet ‘n spicy flavor in there.
Once finished, take the chicken off the grill and let it sit for a few minutes. All the best chefs will tell you not to eat meat directly off the grill. Give it time to rest and let the juices move back into place.
It’s SOOO worth it to wait. I was never patient and ate it right away. But now that I’m forcing myself to photograph my food directly off the fire, it’s allowed the meat to rest and the result has been amazing!
I always serve my BBQ Chicken with grilled corn-on-the-cob… Secrets for that recipe will have to wait for another week!
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