CLEVELAND - Memorial Day will be the first time this year a lot of us will break out the grill for a backyard barbecue. Grilling can mean burgers, hot dogs, steaks, ribs, or the quintessential American classic grilled chicken.
Whether you are entertaining guests or just cooking for the family, we think this recipe is one you’ll turn to barbecue after barbecue. It involves brining for extra flavor, so be sure to give yourself the time for this procedure. And, if you’re looking for a go-to sauce for every barbecue occasion, our sauce recipe is one you’re sure to turn to.
Memorable Memorial Day Grilled Chicken
1 chicken, cut into quarters
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 stems fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup apple juice
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (You can substitute red wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon molasses
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
½ cup onion chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
First, prepare the brine.
Place all brine ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Place chicken in a deep dish or bowl. Pour cooled brine over chicken. Refrigerate for at least four hours.
Now, prepare the barbecue sauce. Heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and cook until soft, about three minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Press the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Discard what’s left behind in the strainer. Refrigerate the strained sauce until ready to use. Allow the sauce to come to room temperature when ready to serve.
Heat your grill. Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Discard the brine. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Once coals are glowing white, place chicken on the grill. The chicken should be at least three inches above the coals. Watch the chicken closely. Once it the skin is slightly charred and browned, flip it and cook the other side. One minute before removing chicken from the grill, brush it with a light coating of the barbecue sauce. Remove chicken to a plate, tent with foil and allow chicken to rest for at least ten minutes. Serve chicken with warmed barbecue sauce on the side.