Monday, October 8, 2012

Sriracha Barbecue Chicken

Happy Columbus Day! Columbus Day is kind of a gloomy holiday because barbecue season is over and it's not really the type of holiday that entails a special meal (e.g. Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Passover, etc.). But just because it's unconventional doesn't mean you can't/shouldn't. So, I think faux-bbq (in the oven, not on a grill) is just what I need on a day off from work, like today.

Way back when, like in the 90s when I was in grammar school, my mom would make barbecue chicken (meaning chicken with barbecue sauce, not chicken cooked on a barbecue - a.k.a. faux bbq) with a Kraft barbecue sauce that was the best. Kraft makes a few different kinds, like "Mesquite BBQ Sauce" and "Hickory Smoke," but this one was called "Onion Bits." I think the reason it was so good was because it was mild, meaning not too smoky, and it was sweet, so it suited my childish palate. However, for some unknown reason, Kraft stopped making Onion Bits BBQ Sauce, which is something I learned a few years ago when I decided I wanted to make my mama's barbecue chicken and I couldn't find it in any stores or online!

So what do you do when you can't buy an ingredient? You make your own! So this recipe started off as a copycat of the Onion Bits BBQ Sauce but then I decided since I was making this my own recipe, I was going to jazz it up with some Sriracha. Because let's face it, Sriracha makes everything better (that was a hyperbole, I do not literally mean it makes everything better, thanks).

Ingredients [serves 4]:
1-1/2 lb package of chicken drumsticks (4 to 5 pieces)
salt and pepper
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Sriracha
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 jalapeno pepper
Okay, so this method of roasting chicken might seem weird, but I promise the chicken will be deliciously moist (which probably has more to do with the dark meat factor than the method, but still). Preheat the oven to 350 and line a sheet pan with foil and have it ready to accept the chicken (that sounds weird). Peel back the skin on the drumstick towards the bone but don't tear it or pull it completely off. You're just "undressing" the chicken to expose the flesh.

Once all of the drumsticks are "naked" (frame 1), season liberally all over with salt and pepper (frame 2), and then "clothe" the chicken again with its own skin (frame 3). Place the chicken in the oven to roast for approximately 20 minutes. Test with a thermometer if you're unsure if it's cooked through.
While the chicken is roasting, you can work on the sauce. Chop up your onion, garlic, and slice up the jalapeno into a few pieces. I smelled my jalapeno and the spicy smell slapped me in the face so I knew it would be way too spicy to use the whole thing and that's why I only used half. If you're really into spice you can add more jalapeno, if you're not, add less. I never said you had to follow my recipes to a T.
Then, put oil, onions, garlic, and jalapeno in a saucepan and cook over a low heat until onions become translucent. Then add ketchup, Sriracha, brown sugar, mustard powder, honey, and Worcestershire.
Stir and cook sauce for 10 minutes, or until thickened. You're looking for the consistency of a typical barbecue sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the chicken has finished cooking, remove from the oven and peel off the skin (using tongs because they're hot!) and discard. If you like the skin, I suppose you can eat it but then you'll also have to run a few miles to burn off those chicken skin calories too. But hey, do what you want to do. However, I solemnly promise that the chicken will still have plenty of flavor without the skin.
Then, bathe each drumstick in the sauce until they're all coated. Then place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the sauce looks like it's getting a bit caramelized and sticky.
Plate the finished chicken and smother with the remaining sauce.
And then enjoy! I served my chicken with some coconut peas and rice and a frisee salad, which seem to be the two things I'm most obsessed with these days.
Here's the recipe page if you need it:

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