Oh, is there anything better than saucy, sweet, tangy, grilled chicken? Well, sure there is. Let’s be honest, but it is pretty damn good; especially when you serve it up with a few of your favourite BBQ sides. We’re partial to a macaroni salad (the creaminess contrasts so well with the tanginess of the Memphis-style sauce) and some warm cornbread. Plus, the timing for this recipe works out perfectly if you want to make a fresh batch of cornbread for yourself – check out the recipe at the bottom of the page (yup - a bonus recipe).
2 pounds chicken thighs (whether you want them to be bone-in, skin-on, or completely boneless and naked, that is up to you)
1 cup buttermilk
Prairie Smoke & Spice Sweet & Tangy Chicken & Rib Rub (for marinade)
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
STEP 1: Assemble your ingredients. Place a large grill-safe pan on one side of the grill. Preheat the opposite side to medium-high heat (so the pan is over indirect heat), and then clean the grate.
STEP 2: Place the chicken in a deep dish and pour the buttermilk over top. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. If you want to make cornbread (see recipe, below), now would be a good time!
STEP 3: Take the chicken out of the fridge and transfer it to a paper towel-lined bowl; the point here is to get rid of excess buttermilk, but it doesn’t have to be totally dry.
STEP 4: Discard the paper towel and season the chicken generously with the Prairie Smoke & Spice Sweet & Tangy Chicken & Rib Rub. Season, then stir; season, then stir. You essentially want it to evoke the colour of a gently setting sun on a late-summer night. Who knew raw chicken could be so poetic?
STEP 5: When the grill is preheated to about 400-415°F, transfer the seasoned chicken to the pan. Cover, then make the sauce!
STEP 6: Place a small saucepan over low-medium heat and add the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and the 2 teaspoons Prairie Smoke & Spice Sweet & Tangy Chicken & Rib Rub. Whisk it up, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
STEP 7: After the chicken has been cooking for 15 minutes, rotate the pan. Cover and cook for another 15. Take the chicken’s temperature (just with a meat thermometer. Don’t make this weird), and if it’s reached 165°F, it’s time to get saucy! If not, keep cooking until it’s reached 165°F. No one wants undercooked chicken.
STEP 8: Now take your nice and warm sauce and brush it all over the chicken.
STEP 9: Transfer the chicken to the lit side of the grill, sauce-side down. Now brush the bottoms with sauce (hehe) and flip ‘em over.
STEP 10: Give those thighs one more flip and sauce, and then transfer them to a serving dish.
STEP 11: That’s it, friends! Just serve these tangy little beauties with your choice of sides and enjoy ‘em while they’re hot!
**BONUS RECIPE** EASY BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8x8 baking pan. Line with parchment paper, if desired. In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and a quarter teaspoon salt. In another bowl, whisk ¼ cup melted butter (cooled to room temperature) with ¼ cup sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 ¼ cup buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix until well combined, and pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Enjoy warm!