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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Cooking & Pairing > The BBQ chicken of my youth...improved!
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default The BBQ chicken of my youth...improved!

I grew up in southcentral Pennsylvania, where PA Dutch cooking included fatty, bland dishes and some very strange/interesting cuisine. I never really enjoyed much of the local fare, and my family was never comfortable calling the area, "home." The locale is definitely not known for barbeque, but I remember fund raisers, fairs, and other "big" events where long pits lined with hot charcoal briquettes would turn out hundreds of pounds of (what I assume is) the local rendition of barbequed chicken. They used a sweet sauce baste (the standard grocery store Kraft/Heinz stuff) throughout the relatively quick cook, resulting in a very caramelized, almost black "half chicken" served with some unremarkable picnic-style side dishes. The chicken was surprisingly good, though, and I have fond memories...

So, I set out to improve the technique while retaining the signature flavor and feel. The only seasoning required was Rudy's Bar-BQ Sause (available almost anywhere in Texas...it's a bold, spicy tomato/brown sugar/vinegar sauce). I spatchcocked a small fryer chicken and applied a liberal coating of Bar-BQ Sause while the Big Green Egg was heating up to about 350° F. I loaded the Egg up with an almost obscene amount of Jack Daniel's oak chips at the start of the cook. The bird went over direct heat, skin side down, along with some foil wrapped, buttered ears of corn. I allowed the heat to ramp up to 500° F for the first 10 minutes, assuring a caramelized finish, then quickly brought the fire back to 375° F. After 35 minutes, I had solid readings of 160° F from the center of the breasts, and a bird that certainly resembled the "original."

Holy crap was it GOOD! The skin was very dark and almost charred in places (as expected), but the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and moist with a great smoky flavor. The sauce provided a nice spice kick, along with some sweetness. It needed no salt, pepper, or additional sauce. The corn was also done to near perfection. A crisp glass of apfelwein was the perfect complement.

Sorry, no pictures. I ate too fast.

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Old 06-07-2009, 03:37 AM   #2
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Sounds delicious!!! A little coleslaw would have been a nice compliment as well. Job well done!


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Old 06-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #3
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Wow- that sounds great! I remember as a kid going to the county fairs in the western PA/eastern OH area and seeing those chickens lined up on big open grills. I have to try this, but won't be able to use the same sauce. Maybe just a homemade "sweet sauce" will do the trick.

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