Monday 2 August 2004

one bbq, hold the ribs

Tim the Butcher did not have any ribs (in his shop, that is. I'm sure Tim himself had ribs, otherwise he probably wouldn't be standing upright. Or breathing.), so we went with chicken instead. Oh. My. God. It was good. Really, really good. I had to alter the recipe somewhat (mostly because we don't tend to have five varieties of chilli peppers in English supermarkets), and reduce the cooking time. Next time, I will make the sauce in advance. Here's the altered recipe I used:

New Orleans Style BBQ Beer Chicken

Spice Rub Mix:

2 tablespoons kosher salt (I used sea salt)

1 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin

1 tablespoon toasted and ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon grated lime zest


6 chicken breasts (with skin and on the bone)

1/2 pint chicken stock

2 cans beer (any lager will do)

2 bay leaves


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 jalapeno chilies, chopped

1 medium onion, roughly cut

4 cloves minced garlic

2 carrots, roughly chopped

tabasco sauce to taste (we bought some chipotle tabasco sauce last time we were in the States and used this - mmmmmmmmmmmmm)

2 tins chopped tomatoes

3/4 cups molasses (if you're in the UK, use about 1/2 cup dark muscavado sugar instead)

1/2 cup honey

1 orange, peeled with pith removed and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup lime juice

Spice Rub Mix: Mix together all ingredients.

Chicken: Preheat gas grill on low for 1/2 hour. If using charcoal, let the coals burn to embers, also about 1/2 hour after lighting.

Season the chicken with a 1/2 of the spice rub mix. In a large roasting pan, add chicken stock, beer, and the bay leaves. Lower the chicken into the liquid. Bring up to a simmer and poach for 15 minutes.

Take the chicken out of the liquid and season with the other 1/2 of the spice rub on both sides. Bring the poaching liquid up to a boil over low heat to reduce.

Add the olive oil to a large, preheated saute pan. Add the chillis and onions, and saute for 5 or 6 minutes, until carmelized. Add the garlic and carrots, and saute another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and let it simmer 20 minutes. Add the molasses/muscavado sugar, honey, and tabasco. Add the orange, then salt and pepper. When the initial braising liquid has reduced by half, add this to the sauce mixture. Let everything simmer for 20 minutes, or pop in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes.

Blend sauce mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in red wine vinegar and lime juice. Strain through a fine sieve if you want the sauce to have a very smooth texture.

The coals should be at the ember stage. Gas grills stay on low. Place chicken on the grill and grill for a couple of minutes on each side. Brush the sauce on the chicken for the last few minutes of grilling.

It was so, so good and we will definitely try this on ribs one day. I made this one relatively tame in terms of chilli heat (Paul's Dad isn't a fan of spicy food), so quite a bit more can be added. By the way, don't get in a snit because I use cup measurements - you UK people can still follow the recipe. I got my measuring cup (with American cup measurements) at Tesco, and they also carry them at Lakeland. You can always use a standard tea cup as a guide (not a mug) as it has roughly the same volume as one US measuring cup.

Mmmmmmmmm. Hungry now.

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