Saturday, September 18, 2010

Homemade Barbecue Sauce and Chicken Barbecue

I love barbecue. I love grilling. Yeah, I know the blog title says it all. I gain joy while barbecuing. In spite of the process being somewhat messy, it’s fun and rewarding. There is something in it that lightens my spirit. The smoky smell that it generates while the meat cooks. The dripping sauce that causes the familiar barbecue aroma as droplets touches the hot coal. The gorgeous lightly charred skin of the meat. The tender and luscious meat with a combination of sweet, salty, sourly, earthy and many other flavors quite difficult to describe which all-together, encompass that exquisite taste that can only be experienced in a true barbeque. Expectedly, I have been preparing this dish on a regular basis.

Recently, I prepared a chicken barbecue which I marinated overnight but due to heavy rain, I was not able to grill it outdoors over charcoal fire and settled to cooking it inside the oven instead. Remarkably, the chicken came out still very juicy and delicious. The recipe I used there is basically the same as the one I applied in my pork barbeque post long time ago with just slight improvements, particularly on the amount of brown sugar.

Since I am now very pleased with this barbecue recipe, I decided to transform it into the next level; by creating a barbeque sauce which can be prepared early on, keep ready inside the fridge and use any time when the need arises……simply and easy. It will serve as a handy topping or dipping sauce and a marinade at the same time. Pretty much like the usual barbeque sauce we can buy from groceries and supermarkets, except that it is homemade, using all-natural ingredients, no extenders, no added preservatives, no artificial coloring and most importantly, it does not cost a fortune. You can use the huge savings in buying more meat instead. :-)

Barbecue sauce, oftentimes abbreviated as BBQ sauce, is a liquid flavoring sauce or condiment created as a marinade and accompaniment to barbecued foods. The consistency of the sauce varies from watery to rich and to very thick. While it can be applied to any food, it is usually used to top or baste meat after cooking or during the barbecuing, grilling or even baking. Traditionally it has been a favored sauce for pork, beef ribs and chicken. It is sometimes prepared with a smoky flavor. The used of ingredients extensively vary, depending on the region, but the common denominators are tomato-based sauces or tomato paste, vinegar or lemon or citrus extract, sweeteners and spices.

To prepare my version of a barbecue sauce we need the following ingredients: 1 head garlic, peeled and minced, 1 cup soy sauce, ½ cup sweet-style tomato sauce or catsup, ½ cup sprite or 7-up, ¼ cup “calamansi” or lemon extract, 1 tsp ground pepper, 6 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp chili powder and 2 tsp cornstarch or corn flour.

Following the procedures in my pork barbeque and chicken barbecue recipes, combine the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl starting with garlic, soy sauce and tomato sauce or catsup. Add in sprite followed by “calamansi” extract and mix thoroughly.

Continue by adding the ground pepper followed by brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder. Continue mixing until a sparkling black homogenous sauce is attained. Taste the barbeque sauce and adjust the sweetness according to your preference, but at your own risk. :-)

Pour the mixture into a blender and pulse it several times until a smooth, homogenous consistency of the sauce is attained.

In a medium sauce pan, cook the mixture over medium heat. Allow it to boil with regular stirring. Simmer on low heat for several minutes or until the sauce is cooked through. Disperse cornstarch in small amount of water and add it into the sauce. Continue simmering on low heat with stirring until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and let to cool. The barbecue sauce is done.

Now the final step is to test the sauce. Using half of the produced sauce, marinate about 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs) chicken pieces, mostly drumsticks and thighs, which have been properly washed and thoroughly drained.

Mix the chicken and marinade properly to evenly coat the chicken. Marinate for at least 4 hours or better yet over night inside the fridge.

Using charcoal grill or gas grill or like in our case an electric grill, barbecue the chicken in batches until it is gorgeously cooked through on all sides. Continue barbecuing for the rest of the meat. Top or baste the chicken with fresh barbecue sauce during the cooking process if you like.

Transfer the chicken barbecue in a wide plate and serve along side with a saucer full of the fresh barbecue sauce. You can eat it with steamed rice or sliced bread. Yum yum! :-)

Try this tasty chicken barbecue and the awesome sauce. Delicious! c“,)

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