by Lois Held
Southerners love their barbecue sauce on the sweet side. This version also has a slight “kick”.
2 medium peaches (about 1 pound total), peeled and diced*
1 1/2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 – 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup catsup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons peach preserves
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper, depending on taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (3-1/2 – 4 pound) chicken, cut into eights, washed and dried **
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Make the sauce: Peel (see below) and dice the peaches and set aside.
In a sauce pan (4-qt), heat the oil. Over medium heat, cook the onion about 3 minutes; stirring so they do not brown. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a boil, stir and reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the peaches are very soft. When adding the cayenne pepper, start with a little and increase according to the amount of heat you like. Stir occasionally so the sauce does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the peaches are soft, remove from heat and puree using an immersion blender. The sauce does not have to be totally smooth. Can also use a blender but be careful when blending hot liquids. Set aside.
While the sauce is cooking, preheat the grill. I usually preheat my gas grill for 20 – 30 minutes. When the grill is ready, carefully oil the grids. Place the chicken pieces on the grill, skin side down, and close the grill lid. Lower the heat so that the outside of the chicken does not cook faster than the inside. Depending on your grill, cook for about 10 minutes or until the skin is brown. Watch for flair-ups from the drippings. Turn the chicken; now it is skin side up. Continue cooking for about 10 – 12 minutes.
After about 5 – 6 minutes, baste the top of the chicken with the Peach Sauce. Continue grilling with the lid closed. After a few minutes, baste again. When the chicken is almost done, give it a final basting and turn over, skin side down. Baste the top of the chicken. Watch it carefully as the sauce burns because of the sugar. Turn the chicken over again and baste. Continue turning and basting for a few minutes or until the chicken is nicely browned and done. Do not allow it to burn. Internal temperature of cooked chicken is 180 degrees.
Remove to platter. Give it a final basting with the sauce. Heat the remaining sauce so that it is hot and serve with the chicken.
This makes about 2 cups of barbecue sauce. The sauce can be made in advance; cool, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.
*To peel fresh peaches: make an “X” on the bottom of the peach, bringing the “X” up part of the sides. Place peaches into a pot of boiling water for about 20 – 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove from boiling water and place on a plate. Using a small knife, pull the skins away from the peach.
**Wash and dry the chicken with paper towels. Place pieces on a cookie sheet and season both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I leave the skin on as it adds flavor to the chicken. Allow chicken to come to room temperature before grilling.