Barbecued chicken that’s finger lickin’ good
June 29, 2012
photo/Lawrence K. Emerson
Wave the flag, fire up the grill, barbecue some chicken and set your table for America's birthday.
While I don’t recall my first 4th of July meal, I do remember the fireworks.
I was only 6 years old. Our family had gone to the country club for dinner and fireworks. It was so exciting — or so I thought.
After dinner, my older sisters Susan, 9, and Christine, 7, each took one of my hands and we went running out to the veranda, where all of the other children were. Of course, when your older sisters get so excited about something, you do as well.
It was dark out there, which scared me to begin with, but Susan and Christine assured it was all right and that I’d love the show. At that age, however, I had no idea what fireworks were. We found a spot on the top step, sat and waited impatiently.
Suddenly, something in the sky exploded, scaring the living daylights out of me. I made it back into the dining room, at my mother’s knees under the table, before the first ember fizzled.
Decades later, I enjoy fireworks.
In my mind the perfect all-American meal for the 4th of July features barbecued chicken, corn on the cob and a tossed green salad. In fact, it probably ranks as my all-time, favorite menu any day of the year. I’ve been using this recipe more than 30 years and never tire of it.
Recently I used Chipotle Chile Pepper powder instead of regular Chile powder and that added a nice little kick. The sauce is easy to make and takes maybe 45 minutes to prepare. The chicken will be moist and tender and the sauce will make your mouth water.
Have a spectacular Independence Day!
2 whole chickens cut up (16 pieces)
3 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
½ cup diced yellow onion
1 minced clove of garlic
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of dry mustard
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 lemon sliced
Garlic salt to taste
Take the chickens out of the refrigerator an hour before grilling and bring them to room temperature. Take all of the ingredients for the sauce, mix them in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour. This can be made ahead of time or an hour before grilling.
When ready, start the grill and bring it to medium heat. Cook with the lid closed but vented. Sprinkle the chicken with garlic salt on all sides and place it on the grill. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the chicken, give it another 10 minutes and turn again. After 20 minutes of cooking, baste the chicken with the sauce, cook for 10 minutes. Then, turn the meat, baste again and cook another 10 minutes. Repeat turning and basting four times. (The chicken will cook for an hour total).
Easy corn on the cob
1½ ears of corn per person
For almost as long as I’ve been cooking corn on the cob, it’s always turned out perfectly. This is a simple method I learned from my mother-in-law and have used it ever since. All you need to do is place the cleaned corn in a pot and cover it with water. Bring to a full boil, then turn the heat off and let it sit until you’re ready to eat. A helpful hint for buying corn, select the heaviest ears — usually the freshest and tastiest.