Barbecue chicken is an American classic of summertime cooking. Perfectly done, the meat is moist and without pink inside, the skin lightly charred and crispy outside, and succulent from top to bottom. That takes some (easy) fussing over as the pieces are turned often to allow charring and prevent scorching.
For the sauce, he used the (then) nationally beloved by home cooks Heinz ketchup and Wesson vegetable oil recipe. (You can still find posters …on EBay.)
Since then, I’ve changed my mind about the original sauce in many of its parts. In my latest favorite rendition, the vegetable oil is swapped for extra virgin olive oil. The ballpark mustard for Dijon, the addition of molasses for deep brown sweet; chili flakes for spicy heat (to taste, of course).
This all-American sauce is also perfect for that other summer favorite, bbq’d spare ribs. Also, it freezes beautifully for later in the year when you might want the romance of summer with bbq, this time done inside in the oven or under the broiler. One cup of sauces suffices to coat and baste a whole, cut up chicken, with a little left to reheat and dab on at the table.
Makes 3 cups
1/4 cup extra virgin olive or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 cup tomato ketchup
1 cup water
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (see)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
1 organic chicken, cut up into 6 serving pieces
1 cup BBQ Sauce,,,
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook slowly until wilted, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook, stirring once or twice, until thick and deep brown-red in color, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool before using. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
3. To cook the chicken,