There are three things you’ll need to make your Cinco de Mayo party a hit. Some rockstar frozen margaritas made from scratch and with fresh fruit, some kick-ass BBQ sauce recipe to slather on some delicious meat, and some sunscreen so you don’t fry while you’re enjoying the sun! Okay, maybe you need four things, because a piñata filled with Chiclets gum and Dum Dum Suckers that looks like John Boehner would just be icing on the cake (I just saw this online)!
EPJ has already covered the margarita on our site and since we’ve been drinking them for most of April in preparation for Cinco de Mayo, we took the chance to focus on developing this tangy, spicy, and deliciously complex, BBQ sauce recipe while we had the use of an outdoor grill at my parent’s house in San Diego.
Now let me just say this before you freak out at the long list of ingredients down below. Most of these are ingredients that you already have in your kitchen, and if you don’t….well, you should, so it’s okay if you have to buy them. You’re really only using one pot and just letting it boil, so it’s not difficult. And you’ll end up with your own homemade delicious BBQ that you can use as an artisanal condiment for future meals.
Oh….and it’s totally worth it! When the smoky heat of the roasted jalapenos is softened by the Coke, honey, cocoa powder, and brown sugar on your tongue…. You’ll get goose bumps.
BBQ Chicken in Roasted Jalapeño & Cumin Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe
For the Chicken
- Two whole chickens, each butchered into six pieces with their skin on (2 breasts, 2 wings, and 2 thigh-drumstick combos).
- 1 cup of kosher salt
For the Sauce
- 3 large green jalapeno peppers
- 1 small white onion chopped
- 2 tblsp olive oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tblsp ground black pepper
- 1 tblsp cocoa powder
- ½ tblsp ground cumin
- 1 tblsp cinnamon
- ½ tblsp cayenne pepper (use less if you don’t like things spicy)
- ½ tblsp dried ginger
- ½ tblsp dried mustard
- ½ tblsp chili powder
- 2 tblsp worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup of honey
- 1 cup ketchup
- ¾ cup Heinz Chili Sauce
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 can of Coke
- 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- some dahses of Tobasco to taste
First prepare the chicken. Disolve the salt in a 2 quarts of water in a pot, bowl, or bucket large enough to hold all 12 chicken pieces. Then add the chicken pieces to the salt water, adding additional water to cover the chicken and set aside for 40 mins. This is called brining and it will make sure the meat retains a lot of its moisture during the cooking process, ensuring your chicken isn’t dry when it’s finally ready to eat.
While your BBQ is heating up, roast the 3 jalapeno peppers over the flames until soft and blackened on the outside. Take them off the heat, remove the stems, roughly chop, and reserve them for later. Leave the BBQ/grill on and covered, because you’ll want it piping hot when you’re finally ready to cook the meat.
On the stove in a medium sauce pan over medium-high, saute the onions in the olive oil for about 3 minutes until slightly softened and starting to turn translucent. Then add all of the dry ingredients (spices) and stir them for 1 minute before adding the rest of the ingredients, including the chopped roasted jalapenos. Stir until well combined and bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the mixture for 20 minutes allowing it to thicken until it’s the consistency of thin ketchup.
When it’s done, strain the onion and jalapeno solids from the mixture and pour the liquid back into the sauce pan.
Hopefully you’ve timed things right so that the BBQ sauce has reduced for 20 minutes and the chicken has been brining for 40 minutes. If the chicken needs more time and the BBQ is done, then just turn the heat to medium-low and let it cook soflty. Drain the chicken (DON’T RINSE THE CHICKEN) and place them back in the soaking container. Measure out 2 cups of BBQ sauce and marinate the chicken pieces with it. Leave the marinate on for another 10-15 minutes and then head over to the BBQ.
BBQ the marinated chicken (skin-side down first) for 10-15 minutes per side, depending on how large your pieces are. Baste the chicken throughout the process with some of the BBQ sauce, allowing some of it to caramelize and char during the process.
The remainder of the BBQ sauce can be reserved to drizzle over the meat when serving or kept for future use on burgers, etc. If you like your BBQ sauce thicker, just continute to reduce it on the stove until it’s to your liking.
- you can use dark brown sugar if you’d like
- you can use molasses if you’d like
- if you don’t mind dirtying another appliance, you can puree the BBQ sauce in a blender after it’s reduced for the initial 20 minutes. Make sure it’s had a chance to cool a little first, or it might shoot out of the blender when you turn it on.
- A can of Coke is a great way to add liquid to this sauce while adding a nice layer of a subtle rich caramel note.
- A can of Guinness or some other dark chocolaty winterbach beer can be used instead of the Coke and this will give it a slightly oaty flavor profile.