Recipe: honey barbecued chicken
How awesome is it to ski tour the Rocky Mountain high country one day, trail run in slush and mud the next day, and bike through lush shady trails the day after that? VERY. It is that magical time when you can take your pick of outdoor fun based on elevation and your choices don’t involve five different kinds of skiing (although there’s nothing wrong with that either). Last week was my first real trail run of the season that wasn’t entirely on snow and it felt good… and bad… but mostly good! I guess all of that winter skiing has paid off. MY QUADS ARE TREE TRUNKS, PEOPLE! I hope your weekend was as awesome as mine.
the view from my trail run
a dazzling sunset
bike foraging on the plains with my pal wendy
letting kaweah soak up some sun before her bath
homemade temaki (hand roll) for dinner
I haven’t said much about Kaweah lately because she’s been in a pattern of declining health for a week, then holding steady for 2-3 weeks, then repeating the cycle. We keep thinking her time is near and then she bounces back to a slightly lower level of health, but stable. She wobbles and stumbles and trips over her own feet all the time now. She can’t stand upright for more than a few minutes before her hind legs give out into a tangle under her. We have to hold her up when she potties lest she fall into her own puddles or poopies. But she’s the cutest, sweetest girl in the world and we love her so much. She’s still happy, obsessed with food, keen to sniff all the smells outside. We love on her, sing to her, talk to her, rub her belly and ears, give her massages, scratch the itchy hard-to-reach places, feed her all manner of goodies, and try our best to keep her safe and comfortable. It’s been a good week for her, and that’s all we can ask for at this point.
cuddling with the clean puppy sunday morning
Jeremy and I spend a good deal of time outside throughout the year such that we are tuned into the finer fluctuations in our weather. That means seasonal shifts are enormous changes to our routines. It rained on Saturday for hours and hours – the first substantial non-frozen precipitation we’ve had this year. Ski helmets were swapped for bike helmets and the heavy winter jackets that lined our mudroom walls have been replaced with lighter waterproof spring gear. And even though we grill year round, there is something about warmer weather that makes one crave barbecue. It just puts you in the mood. So let’s get some chicken on the grill!
chicken quarters, olive oil, kosher salt, brown sugar, chili powder, black pepper, paprika, chipotle powder, thyme, garlic
mince the garlic and chop the thyme
pour the olive oil into the spices
The words “honey barbecued” drew me to this recipe years ago when I dog-eared it in an issue of Fine Cooking magazine. It was only last week when I sat down to make (and shoot) the recipe that I realized there was a little bit of kick to the chicken as well. Chipotle powder in the spice rub and Sriracha in the glaze lend a nice undercurrent of heat that buzzes in the background of your tastebuds. It’s subtle, but lovely in contrast to the sweet honey and brown sugar.
mix to a paste
rub the paste on the chicken and under the skin
cover and refrigerate for 24 hours (or on the counter for 30 minutes)
The original recipe calls for a 4-pound chicken that is butterflied and flattened. My immediate reaction is to replace a whole bird with four pounds of chicken quarters. We like dark meat in this house. So I replaced the whole chicken with chicken quarters and then I doubled the recipe because it looked like a winner (winner winner, chicken dinner!). We like leftovers.
honey, soy sauce, ketchup, cider vinegar, mustard, worcestershire sauce, sriracha
mix it all together
As recipes go, this one is pretty simple once you source all of your ingredients. The rub takes minutes to prep and rub all over the chicken. Then you pop the chicken into the refrigerator for 24 hours. That’s day 1. The next day, stir the glaze ingredients together – you don’t even have to heat it on the stove – and grill the chicken. Use half of the glaze for grilling and reserve the other half as sauce on the side when you serve the chicken.
first grill skin-side down
flip the pieces and baste with the honey glaze
let the chicken rest a few minutes
don’t forget the extra sauce
While we were cooking, Kaweah kept asking to come out onto the deck so she could stand next to the grill and sniff all the goodness. Oh man, we could not wait to dig into the chicken. It looked and smelled incredible. The glaze did a nice job of caramelizing on the chicken skin – that heavenly combination of sugar, fat, salt, and spice. And the meat was tender and juicy the way chicken ought to be. I am so in love with this recipe that it is already in our regular menu as well as our entertaining menu rotation this summer. Put this one in your grilling recipe arsenal.
i love me some barbecue with coleslaw, mac salad, and iced tea
a plate you can’t refuse
Honey Barbecued Chicken
modified from Fine Cooking issue #94
4 tbsps olive oil
5 tsps kosher salt
2 tsps chili powder
2 tsps sweet paprika (Hungarian)
2 tsps light brown sugar
2 tsps fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsps black pepper
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 chicken quarters (or some combination of thighs and drumsticks)
1 cup honey glaze
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsps ketchup
4 tsps dijon mustard
4 tsps Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps cider vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
Prep the chicken: Combine the olive oil, kosher salt, chili powder, sweet paprika, brown sugar, fresh thyme, black pepper, chipotle powder, and minced garlic together in a medium bowl. Rub the spice mixture on the chicken pieces and under the skin. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Make the honey glaze: Mix the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and Sriracha together. Reserve 1/2 cup to serve with the cooked chicken.
Grill the chicken on a gas grill: Brush the grates clean and wipe with a lightly oiled paper towel. Turn all of the burners on to medium low and heat the closed grill to 450°F. Place the chicken pieces on the grill with the skin-side down and close the lid of the grill. Cook the chicken for about 5-10 minutes until browned and the chicken releases easily from the grates. Move the chicken pieces away from any flare ups that may occur. If you have a 3-burner grill, turn off the middle burner and let the remaining 2 burners stay on medium low. For a 2-burner grill, turn off the back burner and turn the front burner to high. You want to maintain a temperature of 350°F with the lid down.
Turn the chicken pieces over and move them to the cooler portion of your grill. Brush the pieces with some glaze, put the lid down, and cook. Glaze the chicken every 5 minutes until done (when a meat thermometer reads 165°F in the thicken part of the chicken – make sure not to touch the bone or you will get an off-reading). This takes about 25-30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving with the reserved glaze.
Grill the chicken on a charcoal grill: Brush the grates clean and wipe with a lightly oiled paper towel. Prepare your coals. When the coals are hot, push them to one side to create a hot half and cooler half of the grill. The hot zone should measure 450°F with the lid down. If the coals are too hot, let them cook down to reach temperature. Place the chicken pieces on the hot zone of the grill with the skin-side down and close the lid. Cook the chicken for about 5-10 minutes until browned and the chicken releases easily from the grates. Move the chicken pieces away from any flare ups that may occur.
Turn the chicken over and move the pieces to the cooler zone of the grill. The temperature in the cooler zone should read 350°F. Brush the pieces with some glaze, put the lid down, and cook. Glaze the chicken every 5 minutes until done (when a meat thermometer reads 165°F in the thicken part of the chicken – make sure not to touch the bone or you will get an off-reading). This takes about 25-30 minutes. Check the fire periodically in case you need to add more coal as the fire diminishes. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving with the reserved glaze.
Makes 8 chicken quarters.
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