Friday, August 9, 2013

Old Fashion BBQ Chicken or What Summer Smells Like



 Growing up across the street from a popular park meant that our neighborhood always smelled good. Really. We were always able to catch the drift of what was cooking somewhere in our vicinity. Was it hotdogs or hamburgers, possibly steak or most likely, bbq chicken. It was always fun scouting the park, looking for friends, while also checking out everyone's picnic table. The red checked tablecloths always were topped with bags of chips and potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon, sodas and baked beans. It looked like fun, as our family was not big into picnics. I think we tried it once but my dad preferred his meals at home.

Every now and then, my mom would bbq chicken. We weren't like my husband's family from Texas who did briskets and such. We did chicken and that was our bbq. If my mom wasn't opening a blue and red jar (I can't remember the name) of bbq sauce, she sometimes made her own. That was a special treat. I don't have the recipe but I believe it was something like the one that we are doing today. I kept it simple but perused a few of my old cookbooks that soon might be labeled vintage. In any case, most old fashioned sauces contained butter, lemon juice and ketchup. Pretty consistent, they were.

I enjoyed this sauce and I enjoyed cooking on the grill. My dad probably would have used charcoal, at least until he got gas. And he probably would have been yelled at for burning the chicken. But really, that is what makes the chicken send out that great caramel smell through the neighborhood. This sauce contains sugar and sugar burns if cooked on too high of a heat, but burnt sugar has that certain taste - as long as it isn't to overdone. 





Buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces. Chicken has more flavor if cooked still on the bone. And it is easier to pick up because there is more to grab! Cook it low and slow. Don't brush on the sauce until the end. Don't worry if it gets a little black. It is still good that way. And always serve with an ear of corn on the side and some watermelon. Potato salad, cole slaw, some garlic bread. Baked beans. Boy, you could almost skip the chicken, but then you don't get that great smell. That intoxicating aroma of grilling. Yes. You could do a potluck. I love summer food. Perhaps a beer would be good, too. Make that two.

And be prepared for your neighbors to be guessing what you are cooking. They will want to fire up their grill, too! Shoot-be a neighbor and invite them over. They will be very happy.



BBQ Chicken (serves 4)
1 cut up chicken (I usually cut each breast into two pieces)

Chicken Rub (Use this all)
1 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T paprika
1 t smoked paprika
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 t salt

Mix together and rub into chicken. Get it all over. Inside and out. Upside and downside. Let it sit all day if you can-or at least an hour.

Old Fashion Bbq Sauce
6 T ketchup
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 T worcestershire
6 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t fresh ground black pepper
1 t dry mustard
1 t smoked paprika
1 t paprika
1/2 t celery seed (the secret ingredient)
4 T melted butter

Mix together and let sit to let flavors meld. (I have seen many recipes that first suggest sauteing onions and celery in the butter. This is good, but not necessary unless you really love onions.) Or love extra work!

Cooking the chicken:

Preheat grill to medium. Place chicken on grill. Cook low and slow. Total cooking time is about one hour. Drink your beer now. You can have the second with dinner. Turn as needed. Do not brush with sauce until chicken is almost cooked through. Brush with sauce, shut grill lid, and let it kind of melt in. This can take about 5 minutes. Then turn over and do the other side. Serve leftover sauce on the side. White meat usually cooks the fastest. If this happens, place it on the grill side that is turned off, to keep it warm. 



Other things to try:

32 comments:

  1. They are mouthwatering, Abbe. The photos, esp. the one those chicken sitting on the grill, look so dang tempting!

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  2. Well your pictures have me drooling over here, seems like the perfect chicken bbq!

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    1. It is Natalie! I love when someone compliments my pictures.I guess I did well, today!

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  3. Thanks Angie. I think I'll go get a piece for lunch.

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  4. what great memories this brings back! Wish I had some now. cindy

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    1. Thanks Cindy. And Mark just informed me that mom used Open Pit. They don't sell it here. You should be hearing from Alex soon!

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  5. That sounds so good! BBQ chicken is a great summer dish!

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    1. It was good Nancy. We fought over leftovers today!

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  6. Is it even legal not to burn your chicken a little bit? Love that char, even though I know many frown on it. I've never met a BBQ sauce I didn't like, and this one is no exception - looks mighty tasty. Heck, I have a red & white checked table cloth somewhere - I need to pull it out and make this! ;-) Good stuff - thanks.

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    1. I like it a little charred, too! Just like I like my marshmallows! Get out that cloth! it is true that all BBq sauces are pretty dang good!

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  7. Can’t wait to give them a try. :)

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  8. Wow. These looks too good! I'm always looking for more chicken recipes, yum!

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    1. Thanks Cathleen. This one has stood the test of time!

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  9. Your chicken is grilled to perfection!!! And your BBQ sauce sounds terrific. We're grilling ribs tonight...with a side of corn on the cob, of course :)

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    1. Ooh, this would be good on ribs, too! And I can never have enough corn. that's what happens after growing up in Illinois.

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  10. Oooh this BBQ chix & sauce look so awesome. I always look for new recipes now that I have one I absolutely love it's time to widen my horizons. :)

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    1. Sometimes it is hard to switch but it is always fun to try something new! Thanks Shulie. just leave out the butter!

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  11. Here, weekends most of all, the smell is of charcoal or wood burning, as people start their barbecues, a big deal here. I love those smells! Homemade bbq sauce is addictive Abbe! Must try this recipe, rub and all.

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    1. Enjoy Paula. It is addictive and something I miss in winter.

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  12. Your BBQ chicken looks succulent! I agree, this is exactly what summer smells like. Love BBQ in the summer.

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    1. Thanks Amy. I want some of those chocolate hazelnut things for dessert!

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  13. I love when I can smell food, whether I'm making it or my neighbors or nearby restaurants, it always makes me happy!

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    1. Food smells definitely make people happy unless it is a bag of burning microwave popcorn. That doesn't go over so well and don't ask me how I know!

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  14. This sounds so good, Abbe. I vividly remember the scent of chicken grilling on the barbecue. I need to do it again and this time I'll use your barbecue sauce. Love that it doesn't start with,"Take a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce ... " Ugh! No, I will give yours a try and the rub. And I bet I have a wonderful dinner that night! Thanks for sharing both recipes, Abbe.

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    1. I'm sure there are a lot of good bottles out there but you and I know that homemade is the best way! Thanks John!

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  15. I am absolutely drooling. This chicken looks amazing and the sauce - well I won't be happy now until I have some!

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  16. Your BBQ chicken looks utterly delicious, so summery for sure!

    Cheers
    CCU

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  17. Thanks Uru! Hope your final went well! Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. That looks absolutely delicious !
    Perfect for summer.

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