Thursday, May 10, 2007

Foolproof Barbecued Chicken

Last Sunday we made one of our summer favorites, Foolproof Barbecued Chicken from Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA. We pretty much follow the recipe, but we use cut up chicken instead of cutting down the bird ourselves and we use Sweet Baby Ray's regular sauce instead of the optional Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce. This chicken is far better than any roadside cooker you'll find.

Foolproof Barbecued Chicken

Indirect grilling

Advance Preparation:
1 to 2 hrs for curing the chicken

For the Chicken and Rub:
3 - 4 lbs. cut up chicken
1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed

For the Mop Sauce:
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. rub reserved from above

2 cups prepared barbecue sauce

You'll also need:
2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferable hickory), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained

  1. Blot dry the chicken pieces with paper towels.
  2. Make the rub: Combine the salt, paprika, brown sugar, pepper, onion and garlic powders, and celery seed in a small bowl and stir to mix. Set aside 1 tbsp. of the rub for the mop sauce. Sprinkle the remaining rub over the chicken on both sides, patting ti into the meat with your fingertips. Let the chicken cure in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Make the mop sauce: Combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and remaining 1 tbsp. of rub with 1/2 cup water in a nonreactive mixing bowl and stir until the salt and brown sugar dissolve.
  4. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. (Gas grill)Place the wood chips or chunks in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium.
  5. When ready to cook, place the chicken halves in the center of the hot grate, skin side up, away from the heat. Cover and grill until cooked through, 40 to 60 minutes. The dark meat should read 180 degrees. After the first 20 minutes of grilling, baste the chicken with the mop sauce every 10 minutes while it cooks. Be sure to baste both sides of the chicken.
  6. During the last 3 minutes brush the chicken with 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce. Move the chicken pieces directly over the fire to sizzle and brown the sauce on both sides.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest 3 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce.

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