Kono is the in house BBQ expert. So I watched him do his magic with the chicken and these are my observations. He started with a whole chicken and cut it into 8 pieces ending up with two of each; breast, thighs, drumsticks and wings. He placed the chicken in a large zip bag and poured bottled Italian dressing over it to coat all the chicken pieces and let it sit in the marinade (about 30 min.) while he started the coals.
He got the coals nice and hot and placed the chicken pieces directly on the grill, skin side up and immediately placed the lid on with the vents closed to calm the fire and allow the chicken to smoke (about 5 min.) Then he uncovered it and flipped the chicken covering it again. Continuing this process until the chicken was just about half way cooked and had a nice color to it. This process took about 20 minutes. Salting the chicken pieces on both sides with Kosher salt on one of the turns.
Now that the fire was calm he removed the cover and started to baste the chicken with bbq sauce flipping the chicken as needed to get a light caramelized coating of the sauce on the chicken. This took about 10 more minutes.
Kono’s chicken had a smoky flavor all the way through to the bone with a light coating of bbq sauce over the exterior that didn’t overpower the chicken. The subtle layers of flavor starting with the tang of the Italian dressing, saltiness of the Kosher salt and sweet savory flavor that finished the chicken were well balanced.
If you prefer a thicker stickier coating of sauce on your chicken start the basting process after the first 10 -15 minutes of cooking. But make sure your fire isn’t too hot or the bbq sauce will burn instead of caramelize.
Serve with the sauce on the side for those who prefer more of an elbow dripping experience.
EASY BARBECUE SAUCE
8 strips bacon
2 large onions, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. chili powder
4 cups ketchup
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup worcestershire sauce
½ cup dijon mustard
1 ¼ cup molasses
1 Tbsp. Cholula hot sauce or Tobassco
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. liquid smoke flavoring
Brown bacon and add onions. Cook onions on med – low until very soft (almost mushy), add the garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer covered for 15 minutes.