Real Barbecued Chicken


The Labor Day Holiday is upon us. So, before you put away the flip-flops and the old grill, here's one more outdoor recipe. And what could be anymore American than barbecued chicken? By that I mean real barbecued chicken. One that uses, for once, your own barbecued sauce, not that crap sold in supermarkets and which is chock full of chemicals and "enhancers." The thing is, barbecue sauce is very easy to make. When I ventured down South during my young manhood, everyone I met made their own sauce; and everyone had their own secret ingredient, whether it was a little bourbon whiskey put in to add a bit of dash, or some mesquite in the hot coals to give the meat some character.

The two sauces I give below use ingredients that can be easily found. No need to get fancy with some undefinable herb or spice. We keep it simple. The idea is to fix up the sauce, lather the chicken, grill quickly, and enjoy the farewell to summer with your mates and fellows.

BARBECUED CHICKEN

Sauce #1

1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Sauce #2

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Take one broiler chicken, about 2 1/2 pounds, and split it into two halves. Pound the chicken on a cutting board or flat surface with a mallet or the bottom of a skillet. This will ensure that the chicken lies flat and cooks more evenly on the grill.
2. Rub the chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano to taste; then rub all over with about 1/3 cup olive oil and two tablespoons red wine vinegar. Set aside.
3. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small pan, and stir over moderate heat until blended.
4. Place chicken halves, skin side up on a heated gas grill or over hot coals. Brush the sauce over the skin side of the chicken and grill, without turning about 10 minutes. Turn and brush the other side. Continue cooking and basting every 5 to 10 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cooking time will depend on how hot the grill is and how close it is to the heat source. For faster cooking you may want the grill top closed.
Note: the recipe can be doubled if you want to grill 2 chickens.
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