I was looking to do something special for Father’s day for Chad. I was also looking to do it on the cheap, quick, and easy. I decided to try to do something I’ve never done quite right before. Now, hold on, don’t be letting your mind travel to the gutter-I do most things just fine, I am talking about barbeque chicken!
See, you can’t just slap some barbeque sauce onto boneless, skinless chicken breasts and throw it onto the grill. Well, technically you can, but I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. It’s not going to have that tender, fall of the bone texture you find in an authentic BBQ joint, and that’s not just because it doesn’t have a bone to fall off of. That technique is just not going to measure up to your expectations.
So, I am sharing this recipe to save you from bitter disappointment brought on by bland barbeque chicken that hasn’t been properly treated. I’m going to introduce you to a world of sweet, sticky, briny bliss, straight from a real Southern kitchen.
This is where Jim comes in. Jim is my friend Joy’s Step Daddy. He’s a true Southern dude that knows how to treat a bird right. Instead of pulling one of the brine recipes off the internet that called for everything but the kitchen sink, I bathed my bird in Jim’s tried and true brine. More on that in a minute.
First, you must select the right chicken. I used leg pieces on the bone that still had the leg and thigh attached. I think it’d be fine to use breasts too, but please make sure you buy bone in. I didn’t take a picture of the raw bird for this post. I think raw chicken is kinda ugly, don’t you?
Anywaaaay….rinse your bird pieces under cold water and place them in a large mixing bowl. Allow plenty of room so that you can add a lot of liquid cause you are going to BRINE this bird! This process will make the chicken super-moist and flavorful all the way through.
I made ten pieces with this recipe and put five in each of two large bowls. Pour one bottle of your favorite beer into each bowl. Then, pour about a cup or so of pickle juice into each bowl. Yep-just straight out of the jar. Add enough tap water to each of the bowls to ensure the chicken is covered with liquid. Cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge.
Let ’em sit.
Let ’em sit some more.
Open the fridge door and jiggle them around a bit.
Let ’em sit again.
Ok, after at least two hours, pull the chicken out of the fridge. Drain the brine and place the chicken onto clean towels. Pat them until they are reeeealy dry. Oil the grates of a gas or charcoal grill. I use a gas grill on medium heat. (Don’t tell Jim, he only likes charcoal).
Grill the chicken until the skin is crispy and there are good grill marks on both sides-about 10 to 15 minutes total.
Remove the chicken and place it on rimmed cookie sheets. Bake the chicken naked for about 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Pull it out and baste it with your favorite BBQ sauce that’s been mixed with a couple of tablespoons of honey.
Bake it in the over for another 30 to 35 minutes, basting once in between, making sure to cover the entire piece of chicken in sauce.
You don’t have to, but I like to throw mine back on the grill for a minute or two just to crust up that sauce.
I just served this with some corn on the cob, hot rolls, and a side of pickle.
Chad and the kids ate this with vigor. They picked the bones and had sauce all over their faces. Success!
I brought a piece to work for Joy to try. She asked me not to tell Jim, but she said it was as good as his. Coming from a girl who knows her southern food, that’s a huge compliment.
I can only remember one other time my family was so covered in barbeque sauce. It was when we had the all you can eat BBQ lunch in Disneyland.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again-if you want to show how unabashedly you love somebody, carefully prepare their favorite food for them. Nothing says love like that.
For me barbequing and outdoor get togethers are some of summers most enjoyable times. The best kind are evenings on the back patio, sharing food and stories with my favorite three people in the universe. This is the perfect dish for those times.