I like to give a lot of options when it comes to cooking… there really are no absolutes when it comes to cooking with live fire. They say that low and slow makes for a truly great Southern BBQ… and it’s true! I learned that when I lived in Texas. This recipe was given to me by my very first culinary mentor, Christine Carbone. A short salt brine makes for some of the juiciest chicken you’ll ever eat. Brine your chicken and make the sauce the day before. The Apricot Barbecue Sauce is truly better if you make it a day ahead.
Oh, and in the background is Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Candied Bacon Vinaigrette!
Apricot Barbecue Sauce
makes two cups
1 cup apricot jam
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 habañero chile, seeded and minced (optional)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in a heavy non-reactive saucepan. Simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minute, until slightly thickened and flavors have melded. Blend until smooth, if desired. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If too thick, stir in a little water or vegetable broth. Cool to room temperature. Sauce will keep covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Grilled Chicken with Apricot Barbecue Sauce
serves four to six
For the brine:
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 cup water
3 cups ice water
3 pounds cut up chicken, bone in and skin on
Bull All-Purpose Rub
1/2 cup apple cider
1 recipe Apricot Barbecue Sauce
Indirect and direct heat
Combine the salt and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Simmer just until salt is dissolved; remove from heat and stir in ice water. Rinse the chicken, and combine with the brine in a large bowl or zip-top bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
Remove chicken from refrigerator 45 minutes to and hour before cooking. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with the seasoning. Set up grill for indirect grilling over medium heat (This means no direct heat source under bird). Brush and oil grate when ready to start cooking and the cooking temp is 300˚F.
Place the chicken skin-side up on the indirect side of the grill and cook for 30 minutes. Baste with the apple cider, turn over, baste again and cook for 30 minutes longer, basting every 20 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken – when it reaches 150˚F to 155˚F, baste with the BBQ sauce, flip and move the chicken over to the direct heat side of the grill. Turn and brush with BBQ sauce every 10 minutes after that until the chicken is no longer pink at the bone and at a safe 165˚F.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!