I recently reviewed a BBQ sauce from The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. I rarely smoke or grill chicken without the skin. For me the skin adds a layer of flavor that is lacking when you strip it off. But having the skin on does cause a little problem. The BBQ sauce just sits on the skin and doesn’t really get into the meat. In my opinion it’s never all about the sauce, it’s about the meat. So how do you give the meat a bit of that great BBQ sauce flavor? Why not a chicken brine?
Over the years I’ve used all kinds of seasonings, herbal teas in and other ingredients, in chicken brine to infuse flavor. Why wouldn’t BBQ sauce work in the brine? So I gave it a try. And you know what? It worked. The flavor of the BBQ sauce did, in fact, permeate the chicken. To make sure I left the sauce off a piece of chicken so I could taste it without sauced skin interfering with the test. The result was very pleasing to the taste buds.
- 1 chicken, cut into eight pieces
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 orange, thinly sliced, peel on is okay
- 4 cups ice cold water
- In a sauce pan begin heating 3 cups of water until it starts to get warm.
- Add salt and brown sugar. Continue to head and stir until the salt and sugar is fully dissolved. If you can do this without bringing it to a boil, that’s good.
- Pour hot water with salt and sugar dissolved into a large bowl.
- Add ice cold water, BBQ sauce and orange slices, stir to combine.
- Set aside until at least room temperature.
- In a resealable plastic bag or in a bowl combine brine and chicken pieces. Place in refrigerator and chill for four hours. Not much longer than that.
- Remove chicken from brine and discard the brine.
- Grill chicken just as you normally would.