Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sauce Loss and the BBQ Chicken Adjustment


Adjusted for Flavor

I was going to do some BBQ chicken legs on the grill last night and it occurred to me why I hadn't made it in a while: Sauce loss. The sauce cooked away, ended up on the grill, on our plates, faces, hands, napkins, and anything else it touched. Yes, it's part of the fun, but how to reduce the loss? There was also the burning issue to consider. Now and then, unless it got all of my attention, the exterior would be done before the chicken and it would burn.

Borrowing some tricks from Buffalo wings and fried chicken with a crispy coating I had an idea. After brining and then partially grilling the chicken I rolled it in a mixture of flour and yellow corn meal to create a crust that would hold the sauce. Next I rolled each leg in a quick St. Louis-style sauce, (ketchup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, black pepper, Marmite, balsamic vinegar), that I had mixed with melted butter. When coated completely I placed the legs onto a foil-lined grill pan and cooked them the rest of the way through.

The result were legs that held most of the sauce with a tasty, crispy crust. We still had sauce everywhere, but most of it was in our bellies.