Barbecue Chicken

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The idea of marinading sauces on food goes back pretty far. In the days before refrigeration and written history, someone discovered that smoking meat helped preserve it. Others have also learned  that soaking it in salty seawater helped preserve it. Somebody else discovered that packing it in dried salt helped preserve it. Somebody else discovered that leaving it in the hot sun or near the fire so it dried out helped preserve it. We now know that smoke and salt have anti-microbial properties, and that dehydrating foods also delays spoilage.

These prehistoric iron chefs discovered that they could also improve flavor and mouth-feel with smoke, salt, seeds, and leaves, as well as basting meat with wine, vinegar, and oils. Especially if the meat was on its way towards funky.

Preserved meats, especially dried meats, were often soaked in liquids to bring them back to life as stews, swimming in sauce based on such as water, oil, juices, dairy, and even blood. In fact the word sauce is said to come from an ancient word for salt.

Barbecue chicken was one of my favorite chicken dinners growing up. Most store bought sauces and marinades are loaded with sodium and MSG. I was excited when I discovered that making your own barbecue sauce was not difficult to do. Not to mention, more flavorful and less salty. I’ve seen many variations of barbecue sauces; some of which use all sorts of berries (which piqued my interest). As of now, I will be providing you with a basic barbecue sauce recipe. This sauce is great for meats and can be used for grilling as well.

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 1 lbs of whole chicken quartered 
  2. 1 onion chopped
  3. 2 cloves of garlic minced
  4. 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  5. 1/3 cup of tomato paste
  6. 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  7. 1/4 cup of dark molasses
  8. 1 tablespoon of  Worcestershire sauce
  9. 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  10. 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  11. Ground pepper for taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake chicken pieces at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Drain off fat.  In an oiled sauce pan, saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Combine the rest of the ingredients for sauce. Bring to a low boil. Cover chicken with sauce and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Yields 4 servings


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