Barbecue Chicken the Right Way and the Wrong Way
I was invited to a dinner this weekend by a gifted amateur cook I know who tends to fall in love with cookbook authors and their books. He had found Ree Drummond’s “Pioneer Woman” cookbook and announced he intended to cook his way through her book. For this dinner, he had chosen a barbecued chicken with peaches recipe plus some jalapeno poppers made by splitting the fresh jalapenos, stripping out the seeds and ribs, then stuffing the halves with cream cheese then wrapping them in bacon and baking.
OMG. Here’s an idea straight out of Chili’s circa 1995. Oh well. It tasted pretty good.
Then we had a melon half followed by another iteration of watermelon gazpacho that Mz. Drummond had whizzed up until it looked like a pale pinkish puree with a faintly metallic flavor. Eeek.
And then came Mz Drummond’s main course. Her idea for “barbecue chicken involved making a sauce from 1 quart “your favorite barbecue sauce”, + 1-1/2 cups bourbon + a bottle of peach jam + 6 fresh peaches. The poor unsuspecting chicken pieces were submerged in this abomination then left to drown and die in the oven for an hour and a half, then to be served on a huge bed of butter noodles.
Are you kidding me? Those poor chicken pieces – promised to fall off the bone – were simply buried alive in this mixture of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and booze. It was truly awful.
But is this to say that barbecued chicken is hard to do? I don’t think so.
And while I give it to Mz. Drummond for being a good blogger, a good photographer, and a whiz at identifying and speaking to her demographic, she is a lousy cook. She has no clue about certain cooking principles like the difference in braising, boiling, and barbecuing. Go back to Home Ec 101, girl friend. these topics were covered in your eighth grade class. You need to cook chicken dry over a barbecue fire, or barring that, on a rack in a hot oven. Then dress with the barbecue sauce at the end, and not buckets of the stuff. Please. Just a nice addendum to the grilled bird, not murder by barbecue sauce. Please.
And did Mz. Drummond not get the message about sugar and HFCS? I guess not. To murder a chicken under a bed of sugary slime is a sin.
But not to worry. You can make a lovely chicken barbecue by simply marinating chicken in a home made sauce then coating chicken pieces in a commercial dry rub, then cooking on the grill and serving along side a barbecue sauce made from bourbon and other simple ingedients that can include fresh peaches but do not need to include HFCS. No! Please. don’t poison us at the barbecue.
Bourbon Barbecue Chicken with Peaches
makes 8 servings
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil oil
2 whole chicken breasts (with skin and bone), halved
4 chicken thighs
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken wings
1 cup dry southwest barbecue rub
Bourbon barbecue sauce for basting and as an accompaniment
2 large onions, chopped fine
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 cup organic ketchup (without HFCS or ordinary sucrose)
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup bourbon
3 large fresh peaches, sliced into wedges
In a bowl whisk together the vinegar and the salt, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the marinade until it is emulsified.
Divide the chicken pieces between 2 large bowls, pour the marinade over them, and let the chicken marinate, covered and chilled, overnight.
Just before grilling, rub dry rub into chicken pieces, coating all sides.
Grill the chicken on an oiled rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals for 10 minutes on each side, or until cooked through, baste it with some of the barbecue sauce, and grill it, turning it, for 2 minutes more. Alternately, cook chicken in a 400 F. oven on a rack over a baking sheet. Dab the barbecue sauce last five minutes of cooking process. Serve the chicken with the remaining sauce + peach slices.
Make Bourbon barbecue sauce:
In a large heavy saucepan combine the onions, the butter, the Worcestershire sauce, the mustard, the ketchup, the broth, the vinegar, and the bourbon, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 3 1/3 cups. The sauce may be made 1 week in advance and kept covered and chilled. Add peaches just before serving.Pin It