This year, we're kicking off grilling season with our recipe for the ultimate barbecue chicken. Chicken is marinated in a homemade bourbon- and Thai chile-laced barbecue sauce (see the recipe) before hitting a charcoal grill and getting glazed with more sauce. It's smoky and sticky, and has the perfect amount of heat.
When grilling chicken, you want a combination of direct and indirect heat. When searing the chicken, cook it over the hot area of the grill (where the majority of the coals are). Once crisp, move it to a cooler part of the grill (where there are few coals) to let the chicken finish cooking and ensure tender, juicy meat.
To learn more, read "All Up in Your Grill."
Bourbon-Chile Barbecue Grilled Chicken
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting time
Cook Time: 10 minutes, plus overnight marinating
Total Time: 30 minutes, plus overnight marinating and resting time
One 3-to-4-pound chicken, broken down into 8 pieces
1½ cups bourbon-chile barbecue sauce, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a plastic bag, combine the chicken and ¾ cup of the barbecue sauce. Seal the bag closed and massage the barbecue sauce onto the chicken. Refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day, light a grill. Remove the chicken and scrape off any barbecue sauce on the skin. Rub the chicken with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the chicken on the grill, skin-side down, and cook, flipping once, until charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush with the remaining barbecue sauce, then transfer to a cooler spot on the grill. Cook, covered, until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165º and the barbecue sauce has caramelized, 10 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and let rest 5 minutes, then serve.