THE ULTIMATE BARBECUED CHICKEN
Time: About 1 hour, plus brining
The simple process of brining takes barbecued chicken from pedestrian to mouthwatering in as little as 15 minutes. And the sauce….bring an extra stack of napkins because you’re going to be licking it off your elbows!
Serves 4 to 6
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a large knife
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each), quartered
The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce:
1 slice bacon
1 bunch fresh thyme
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
For the brine, combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme in a 2-gallon sized re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours (if you’ve only got 15 minutes, that’s fine) to allow the salt and seasonings to penetrate the chicken.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat a 2-count of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add your thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors.
Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue to a medium heat. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a non-stick surface. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat it dry on paper towels and cook, turning once, 15 minutes. Then brush the chicken with the sauce and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 10 more minutes. Serve with extra sauce. sangria granita with cold spiked fruit
Serves 6 to 8
This recipe was a huge hit when we tested it. It seemed a little complicated in theory but once we put it together it was nothing more than a flavored slushy. The spiced sangria gets poured into a lasagna pan and frozen overnight and the fresh fruit, tossed with Cointreau and sugar, gets frozen as well.
For a sleek presentation I serve this in a glass. The frozen fruit goes in the bottom and acts like ice cubes to keep the granita colder longer. On a summer day, there’s nothing more refreshing. Sangria Granita
• 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine
• 1⁄2 cup sugar
• 1⁄2 cup Cointreau
• 4 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1⁄2 lemon, seeded
• 1⁄2 orange, seeded Cold Spiked Fruit
• 2 peaches, pitted and quartered but not peeled
• 2 cups red or green grapes, halved
• 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
• 1⁄2 cup Cointreau
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• Fresh mint, for garnish
For the granita, combine the wine, sugar, Cointreau, and spices in a large saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and orange halves; add the juice to the saucepan and throw in the squeezed halves, too. Warm for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Strain into a bowl and put the mixture in the fridge or over an ice bath to chill.
Pour the chilled mixture into a shallow baking pan and freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight, until the mixture is frozen. Using a fork or a couple of chopsticks, break up all the ice crystals on the bottom and sides of the pan. (This aerates the mixture so that the finished granita will melt in your mouth.) Freeze for 3 to 4 more hours, until the mixture is frozen but still granular.
Meanwhile, combine the peaches, grapes, and strawberries in a bowl, add the Cointreau and sugar, and toss. Cover and put the bowl in the freezer for a couple of hours; the fruit will absorb the sugar and liqueur while it freezes. Serve the frozen fruit with the granita and garnish with mint.
Excerpted from Tyler's Ultimate by Tyler Florence. Copyright © 2006 by Tyler Florence. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.