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Recipe for BBQ Chicken - with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
Barbecue Chicken Recipes
How many barbecue chicken recipes do you have? How many do you actually use? I’m not sure you can have too many ways to make BBQ chicken. After all, there are just so many wonderful taste combinations to try, from BBQ rubs to basting liquids to BBQ sauces. Several different methods can be involved, too. You can cook barbecue chicken recipes in the oven, on a smoker, or on the grill. You might want to use your favorite BBQ rubs alone, or in combination with basting sauces or BBQ sauces. You can completely omit using BBQ rubs at all and just use a barbecue sauce. As long as you get the cooking time and temperature right, it’s pretty hard to mess up barbecue chicken. Cooking time and temperature are essential, however. If you don’t get them right, even the best barbecue chicken recipes could result in tough, dry poultry that’s hardly worth eating.
Here in Georgia, when most folks think of barbecue sauce, they think of a sweet, spicy sauce with a tomato sauce or ketchup base, but it’s not like that everywhere. BBQ sauces can have a lot of different bases, including mustard, vinegar, fruit juices, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, syrups, and other liquids. It’s all a matter of individual taste and preference.
Real BBQ lovers might have several favorite BBQ sauces. They might have one for pork ribs, one for beef ribs, and a different one for barbecue chicken. As a matter of fact, I somewhat follow this practice. For beef, I like a hot, savory sauce, in most cases, but for pork and chicken, I usually like “sweet heat” in my barbecue sauce. Many times, I use some sort of fruit in barbecue sauce for chicken. The fruit might be peach, apple, pineapple, apricot, lemon, lime, or raspberries. It might be in the form of fresh fruit, fruit syrup, fruit butter, preserves, or jams.
The fruit helps take care of the “sweet part,” and for the “heat,” I might include hot sauce, cayenne, chili powder, fresh peppers, Tabasco sauce, or chipotle powder. I really like chipotle powder. The heat isn’t overwhelming, and it has a nice smokiness. That’s why I often use chipotle barbecue sauce. It’s great on chicken, pork ribs, pork chops, and pork butts. I’m going to share a wonderful recipe for BBQ sauce with you in this article.
How to Make BBQ Sauce
You don’t really need recipes to learn how to make BBQ sauce. You know what you like! For typical American BBQ sauce, you’ll probably want to start with ketchup. You might want to add some vinegar, some Worcestershire sauce, and/or prepared mustard. For sweetness, you can add white sugar, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, or cane syrup. For low carb barbecue sauces, you can use Splenda, stevia, or sugar-free syrups. You’ll probably want to add some onion and garlic, too. You can use garlic powder, garlic salt, onion powder, or onion salt, or you might prefer using fresh minced garlic and chopped onions. If you decide to go the fresh route, you might want to cook the onions and garlic first. If your BBQ sauce is too “chunky,” you can run it through the blender or food processor.
For spices, consider paprika, cumin, black pepper, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and/or ground cloves. I’ve already discussed the elements for adding heat to your sauce. To get a richer, fuller flavor, you might want to simmer the sauce until it thickens. To cook the sauce, bring it to a slow boil, then immediately lower the heat to simmer. Be sure to stir the sauce to keep the sugars from scorching.
Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
Most recipes for raspberry chipotle sauce that I found were more like glazes than they were like the BBQ sauces I’m accustomed to. By that, I mean that few used a ketchup base, so I set about creating my own raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce recipe. I really didn’t want to bother with fresh raspberries, so I thought raspberry jam would work nicely, and it did. Not only did it give the barbecue sauce a great raspberry flavor – it also gave it more body and plenty of “stickiness.”
My raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce is sweet and a little tart, with just a small amount of heat. The heat comes mostly from the red pepper flakes and the chipotle powder. Actually, I prefer adding more of the red pepper flakes than is listed in the recipe here. I know, however, that not everyone appreciates heat like I do.
Recipe for BBQ Chicken
I made this recipe for BBQ chicken in the oven and on the grill. I let it partially cook by baking, then we finished it on the grill so that we’d get that great smoky taste and browning that grilling is famous for. Sure, you can do the whole job on the grill, but grilling chicken can be a little tricky, especially for thick bone-in pieces. It’s sometimes hard to get exactly the right cooking temperature – the magic number that cooks the flesh all the way through and gives it a slight sear on the outside, without drying out the meat.
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- 8 chicken thighs, OR 6 breasts
- cooking spray
- Lawry's garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Rinse chicken parts and pat dry. Arrange pieces close together on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray chicken with cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic salt and paprika.
- Cover with foil and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
- While the chicken bakes, make the sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add garlic and sauté for one minute over medium heat. Add jam and cook until melted. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Keep warm until needed.
- Clean and oil grill grates. Remove chicken from oven and place on medium grill, skin-side up. Cook for 10 minutes on each side. Begin brushing both sides with raspberry chipotle sauce. Continue grilling until chicken is done. Use a meat thermometer to be sure – breasts at 170 degrees and thighs at 180.
- Remove chicken from grill to a plate or serving dish. Give chicken a final slathering of barbecue sauce. Wrap tightly in foil until serving time.
- This recipe for BBQ chicken is great with roasted potatoes, pasta dishes, grilled asparagus, and garlic bread. The grandkids like to dip their toasted garlic bread in the raspberry chipotle sauce, and hubby likes to spoon some of the sauce over yellow rice. I think the BBQ chicken goes especially well with creamy macaroni and cheese, especially if I make a really spicy version of the sauce. And speaking of the raspberry chipotle sauce, if you have any leftovers, keep it in the fridge for a few days. Heat it up in the microwave and use it as a dipping sauce for chicken fingers or as a topping for ham, turkey, or chicken sandwiches. Of course, if you have some other meat to cook, you can use the sweet-hot sauce as a coating again. As I’ve said, it’s great with poultry and pork. I think you’ll love this barbecue sauce, as well as the recipe for BBQ chicken!
BBQ Safety Tips
When we were grilling today, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some basic BBQ safety tips. As the family matriarch, it’s my job to worry about my grown daughters, my sons-in-law, and especially my grandkids. I don’t have to worry as much about my hubby because he’s older, wiser, and more careful.
One thing I worry about is the placement of the grill. It just amazes me how many people use their BBQ grills on wooden surfaces. We’re often invited to cookouts, and some of the hosts grill on their wooden decks. Hello! Fire plus wood is not a safe bet. Shouldn’t that be a no-brainer? If you’re determined to grill on your deck, at least make a safe area by covering a section of the deck with ceramic tiles, quarry tiles, or brick pavers. We made a special grilling area adjacent to our deck and used tiles that look like brick pavers for the flooring. The person cooking is still near all the “deck action” but is in an area that’s safe for cooking. We also have a water hose and a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
And there’s also the grill itself to worry about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen “grillers” add more charcoal lighter to a burning fire in order to get the coals ready more quickly. Avoid doing that! Patience is a virtue, my friends. Gas grills can be just as dangerous if you don’t keep them in good working order. The propane needs a clear pathway from the tank to the grill, and sometimes things can go wrong. Check your hose and grill on a regular basis.
My biggest worry has to do with the grandkids. I have nine, and of course, they’re all very dear to me. Eight of them are old enough to run around and play outdoors, so I always appoint a couple of adults to be responsible for keeping the little ones away from the grill. For the baby who can’t walk yet, I make sure she’s not where she’s going to be exposed to a lot of smoke.
When you’re out partying, I trust you have the foresight to appoint a designated driver. By that same token, you need a designated griller – one who’s sober and clear-headed. I’ll admit that the guys in my family are fond of brew, and they think that a cooler of cold beer is a natural part of any cookout. I’m not going to suggest to them that can’t enjoy an adult beverage while they’re cooking, but I do try to keep an eye on them to make sure they’re sober enough to be responsible. If one gets a little too “happy,” we pass the cooking responsibilities on to someone else.
Grilling outdoors should be fun – not the reason for a trip to the emergency room or for a call to the fire department. Think ahead and use some common sense. Remember that you’re dealing with high temperatures and fire, so there are all sorts of things that can go wrong. You don’t have to be anal retentive with your BBQ safety tips, but you do need to cover the basics. Your BBQ chicken will taste a lot better if everyone is safe.