Sunday, July 17, 2011

day 22 = bourbon bbq chicken with sixteen spice rub

we're trying to use up everything in the house so the meals the next few days will be very interesting...

we were watching the food network and bobby flay's throwdown! came on again. we like the country captain chicken from the day 20 so i thought i'd try something else from his cookbook. we had chicken breasts in the freezer so i defrosted those and got started with the recipe. since i didn't have all the ingredients, here's what i did:

buttermilk marinade:
  • 1 quart (4 cups) buttermilk or 4 cups milk + 4 tbsp lemon juice**
  • a few drops tobasco sauce (in our case, a bunch)

sixteen-spice rub:
  • see the recipe included in day 2's bbq at home. don't let it scare you and it lasts forever. i am still using it up!

barbecue sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • a few dried chili's, chopped in 1/2 so you get the seeds
  • 1/2 cup bourbon, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked spanish paprika
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
**if you don't have buttermilk on-hand, put 4 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl and add 4 cups milk overtop. let sit for 5 mins and you'll have your own buttermilk!

1) two hours to two days ahead:
marinate the chicken in the buttermilk and tabasco to tenderize the chicken.

2) make the rub:
whisk all the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl.

3) start the grill:
heat the grill to medium heat. best to cook the chicken "low and slow" to maintain the flavor.

4) make the bbq sauce:
heat oil over medium-high heat in saucepan. add garlic and cook for 1 minute. add the dried chili. stir in 1/2 cup of the bourbon and cook until reduced. add the ketchup and water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. season with salt and pepper, to taste. pour into a bowl, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon and allow to cool at room temperature. the sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator stored in a tightly sealed container.

5) finish the chicken:
brush the chicken with the 1/4 cup of oil and season on both sides with the spice rub. season with salt and pepper, to taste. grill the chicken slowly, with the lid closed, until golden brown on both sides and fat has rendered. begin brushing the chicken liberally with the bbq sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling.

arrange on a serving platter and serve.

this is fantastic! i really liked the flavors and it was a great way to use up the spice rub, the chicken, and a bunch of old condiments. last time we made chicken i salted it before putting it in the refrigerator and it came out so juicy and tender. this time i marinated it in buttermilk (but only for 2 hours) and it also came out juicy. so i think either is a good option, but i prefer the salted method. regardless, this seasoning and sauce is really flavorful!

at first i was a little hesitant on the BBQ sauce as i was looking forward to the chicken with the spices on it.  the pieces of chicken we were cooking were enormous and i wasn't sure how long to cook them without over cooking or under cooking.  i typically put the grill on medium heat and cook on each side for 7 minutes a piece.  to add to the complication, sarah likes charred pieces on the skin so the heat needs to be just right.  i left them on the grill for 10 minutes each side and after i grilled both sides i was going to add the BBQ sauce on for the last turn.  when i went out for the BBQ sauce i noticed the chicken was very charred, which worried me that they may be over cooked.  i turned the heat to low and added the sauce for a final 5 minutes.  after bringing the chicken in i could see sarah was happy with the condition, but i was a little worried that they would be dry.  after she took her picture i grabbed a piece and cut in.... perfect piece of chicken and to my surprise the BBQ sauce was great.  good spice and just enough sweetness.  it was great!


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