Grilled Brined Chicken with Homemade Barbecue Sauce takes barbecue chicken to a whole new level. Smoky and sweet, this sauce is finger licking good, and the brined chicken is juicy and tender.
Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting my husband’s cousin and niece from Taiwan for a week. I’ve never met them before, and it’s been nearly 40 years since my husband has seen his cousin, so their visit was very special.
It was really interesting to see how my kids interacted with them since they are second generation Chinese Americans, and don’t speak Chinese. Fortunately, their cousin is fluent in English, so my broken Mandarin was passable as I tried to communicate with her mom, with translations flying back and forth.
It was quite an adventure for our relatives from Taiwan as they wanted to experience everything American. This Grilled Brined Chicken with Homemade Barbecue Sauce was one of the recipes I made for them during their stay. After all, Barbecue Chicken is very American right?
Brining the chicken for a few hours before grilling it bumps up the flavor and ensures a moister chicken, so if you have time, try it. If not, no worries, just throw the chicken on the grill (make sure you season with some salt and pepper first if you don’t use the brine).
Homemade barbecue sauce ensures you use the cleanest ingredients, and a naturally rich flavored, thick sauce. A slice of bacon and smoked paprika add smokiness to the sauce. This recipe makes enough to baste the chicken during the grilling process. If you like extra sauce to serve with it, double the recipe.
Grilled Brined Chicken with Homemade Barbecue Sauce
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 3 pounds chicken legs and/or thighs
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 slice uncured bacon chopped
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup organic ketchup
- 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons organic unsulphured molasses
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- In a large pot, mix together water, salt, sugar, and garlic. Add chicken and refrigerate 2 hours.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add bacon and saute until lightly browned. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Preheat grill.
- Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Brush some oil onto foil. Place chicken on foil. Slide chicken and foil onto grill and cover grill. Let chicken cook for 20 minutes; brush with barbecue sauce and turn pieces over; brush other side of chicken. Close grill and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Brush more barbecue sauce on chicken and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until done.
Adapted from Tyler Florence.
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