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Tailgating Recipe – BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken

8 chicken legs
8 chicken thighs
Marinade

2 cups hot sauce (I like Texas Pete)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons granulated garlic
3 tablespoons onion powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
BBQ Sauce

1.5 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
10 cranks of a pepper grinder
Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese (using one pound of Cheddar instead of all three cheeses will work fine)
4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
4 ounces grated Fontina cheese
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoons hot sauce
Salt/pepper to taste
Time To Cook
Thursday

On Thursday night, mix together the marinade ingredients and add the chicken. You should use a non-metallic bowl or dish. Toss the chicken well and cover with plastic wrap. Turn the chicken every 8 hours or so. Resist the urge to begin marinating the chicken on Friday … it needs at least a day and a half for the marinade to penetrate the chicken properly. (If you find yourself without enough time to marinate the chicken for 2 days … make a dry rub with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika and brown sugar. Rub on the chicken and let it sit at room temperature for an hour before grilling.)

Mix together the BBQ sauce ingredients with a whisk. Insure there are no clumps of seasoning. Place in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Saturday

In a large pot with at least a gallon of salted water at a boil, cook the macaroni until just done. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

Pour the milk into a pot and turn the heat to medium. You want to “scald” the milk, which is to bring it just to the point of simmering. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot to keep the milk hot. In a large saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Once it begins to sizzle, add the flour and stir well to remove any clumps. This butter-flour mixture is called a roux and it will thicken the cheese sauce. Continue to cook the roux for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to insure it doesn’t burn. Slowly add the milk and whisk to combine. It’s best to do this slowly, so the roux won’t clump. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL IT, or it will break (the milk and butter will separate). This sauce is called a bechamel sauce. Add the hot sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine, keeping the sauce at a simmer. Slowly add the cheese, a handful at a time, whisking to insure each handful is melted into the sauce before adding the next handful. Repeat until all the cheese in incorporated and the mixture is smooth and thick. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Add the macaroni and stir to combine. Pour this mixture into a large casserole dish and cook at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Don’t worry if it’s too soupy … the time in the oven will help the pasta to soak up the cheese. If you want to take it to the next level, you can add buttered bread crumbs on top to form a delicious crust (add 1/2 cup of melted butter to 1 cup of bread crumbs). Remove from the oven and cover. The macaroni and cheese will stay hot in a cooler for up to 2 hours.

Get your grill to medium heat (400-425 degrees). Personally, I like to use a charcoal grill for BBQ chicken, as I think the charcoal adds a nice authentic flavor to the chicken. However, a gas grill will work fine here and likely be the safer method to insure the chicken doesn’t burn (because you have use of the top rack).

The key will be to watch the chicken like a hawk. Try not to leave it unattended for too long … especially around any hot spots on your grill. I will go so far as to block the direct heat with aluminum foil and place the chicken on the top rack of a gas grill or on the other side of the charcoal grill from the coals if they are too hot. You will want to cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes at a time with the lid closed between each turning, brushing each piece with sauce when you go to turn the pieces. The idea is to have the BBQ sauce caramelize without burning and this is best achieved with the door closed so the grill acts like an oven as well as a grill. It might also help to spray the grill grates thoroughly with non-stick spray to help keep the chicken from sticking to the grill. The chicken should take 30-45 minutes.

If they are getting too dark, you can finish them in the oven. Be sure to stick a thermometer into each piece (not touching the bone). The temperature should read 180 degrees. Again … the key to success is to have your grill at the right temperature … not too hot and not too cool. Place in a covered dish. The chicken will keep well in a cooler for a couple of hours.

To take the chicken to the next level, add a few hickory chunks or wood chips for a nice smoky flavor.

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