Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Virginia Willis’s Barbecued Chicken

It is officially grilling season, and one of the first things I tried upon uncovering the grill was barbecued chicken. The last time I made barbecued chicken, I had just graduated from high school and was spending a weekend with my girlfriend, Chris. Back then, we only knew how to make three things: barbecued chicken (that we did very badly), green bean casserole, and lemon squares. So any time we were able to get together, this is what we made. 
Because the chicken was always overcooked, dry, and the barbecue sauce burned, when I reached adulthood, I never barbecued chicken again. Then I found Virginia Willis’s recipe, and now I’m going to be making it all of the time. Virginia’s recipe results in chicken that is moist and flavorful, with a wonderful taste that you only get from grilling. I have a feeling that this summer, I am going to be grilling up a lot of chicken.

Here is her recipe. If you’re not familiar with Virginia, she is an award-winning southern cook with a number of
books full of recipes for delicious food. You need to check her out, while you’re nibbling on your delicious and perfectly grilled barbecued chicken.
Virginia Willis’s Barbecued Chicken

1 gallon cold water
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 whole chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for the grill
Your Favorite Barbecue Sauce, warmed

Combine the water, salt, and brown sugar in a large plastic container and stir to dissolve. Add the chicken; cover and refrigerate to marinate for 4 to 6 hours.

Prepare a charcoal fire using about 6 pounds of charcoal and burn until the coals are completely covered with a thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium-hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds). Or, for a gas grill, turn on all burners to High, close the lid, and heat until very hot, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the marinade and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry with paper towels, season with pepper, and set aside.

Season the chicken with pepper. Apply some oil to the grill grate. Place the chicken on the grill, leaving plenty of space between each piece. Grill until seared, about 1 to 2 minutes per side for legs and thighs, and 3 or so minutes for breasts. Move the chicken to medium-low heat or reduce the heat to medium; continue to grill, turning occasionally, until the juices run clear when pierced, 12 to 18 minutes.

During the last 5 to 7 minutes of cooking, brush the chicken with BBQ Sauce.

Remove the pieces from the grill as they cook and transfer to a warm platter. Give them a final brush of sauce for flavor and serve immediately with additional sauce on the side.
If you don’t have a favorite barbecue sauce, you might try mine, Sugarfire Smoke House Coffee Barbecue Sauce. Delish!

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Alycia Nichols said...

You shock me sometimes! You cook so many different things so beautifully. I would just assume something as basic as grilled chicken would be a grand fete!!! But I do understand...I ruined PLENTY of stuff in my younger days in the kitchen that I never tried to cook again until I was older and more confident. I still can’t do yeast breads to save my soul, though. Just scared to try again after the flat, tasteless debacles of years past.😱 I’m glad you conquered your fears so that you can enjoy this recipe whenever you please!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

I guess that does seem a bit strange. I will tackle the most difficult dishes, but when it comes to anything done on the grill, I am clueless. Grilling has never been my thing. I have a nice grill now, so it will be, so stay tuned for more.

Linda said...

Your chicken looks fantastic! Awesome post Pattie - very nice tips on grilling. Looks like you've learned a lot since post-high school. :D said...

We do BBQ chicken all the time but I've never heard of marinating it in a brown sugar bath, this is a must try, thanks Pattie!!

Miz Helen said...

Oh my goodness, that chicken looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
Miz Helen

The Lazy Gastronome said...

that looks so sticky and sweet and delicious! Thanks for sharing at the what's for Dinner party - Have a great week!