The Ultimate Barbeque Chicken

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!

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons kosher {salt}
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, 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
1/2  onion
2 cloves garlic
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.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 15 min
refrigerate for 2 hrs

Cook Time: 1 hr

Servings: 4 to 6

Recipe By: Tyler Florence

From:  Tyler's Ultimate
Used with permission of Clarkson Potter