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Grilled Chicken with Ancho Barbeque Sauce


I have been craving grilled chicken (any grilled foods really), and was searching for new grill recipes when I came across this.  It looked perfect, and I immediately put it on the menu for that night.  We are lucky that in South Carolina, we can pretty much grill all year, but I still like it more in the summer because we can pair the grilled meat with summer vegetables.  We had this with grilled corn and a black beans and tomato dish, which made it the perfect summer meal.  There is nothing better than taking advantage of foods while they are in season.

The sauce was simple to make, and it can be made in advance.  It also keeps well.  I put the leftovers in the freezer and we recently had it again and it was just as good.  The sauce was incredibly delicious!  It was so full of flavor and had the perfect sweet and spicy taste.  I omitted the steak sauce because we didn’t have it on hand and used olive oil instead of butter to cook the onions.  The marinade was also really simple and tasty.  The recipe says to use a vacuum marinator, but I used a simple Zip-lock bag and it worked out fine.  I prefer to buy chicken tenderloins, so I used that instead of the whole chicken.  I buy it in 5-pound bags at Costco, and it’s so easy and convenient.  I’ve also found that for dishes like this, tenderloins hold a lot of flavor throughout the entire piece of meat and not just on the surface.  This was a perfect summer dinner, but I know we will be eating it year round.

NOTE: As a southern girl who is passionate about BBQ, I must note that this may have BBQ sauce, but it is in no way BBQ.  Real BBQ is pulled pork.  You can use a variety of sauces, although since I am from South Carolina, I am partial to mustard-based sauces. 🙂

Grilled Chicken with Ancho Barbeque Sauce
Adapted from Williams Sonoma


1 ancho chili, seeded and cut into pieces

1 cup boiling water

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. salt

1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb., cut into serving pieces

For the barbecue sauce:

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup steak sauce

2 Tbs. cider vinegar

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

5 tsp. ancho chili powder


In a small heatproof bowl, combine the ancho chili and boiling water. Let stand until the chili has softened, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 Tbs. of the liquid.

In a food processor or blender, combine the ancho chili, the reserved liquid, the olive oil and salt. Process until a thick, smooth paste forms. Place the paste and the chicken pieces in the barrel of a vacuum marinator and marinate for 30 minutes according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let stand in the sealed marinator for 20 minutes more before grilling. If necessary, marinate the chicken in batches.

Meanwhile, make the barbecue sauce: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and chili powder. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat an indoor electric grill to 400°F.

Arrange the chicken, skin side down, on the grill. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through, 22 to 25 minutes total. Brush the skin side of the chicken with some of the barbecue sauce during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve immediately. Pass the remaining barbecue sauce at the table. Serves 4 to 6.


7 Responses

  1. That sauce looks so tasty! I eat corn as much as possible this time of year too!

  2. Looks delicious Erin!! I love buying stuff at Costco and portioning it out, and the meat is good! 😀 Nice summer recipe!

  3. This looks great! I definitely need new ideas for making grilled chicken more exciting.

  4. We grill all year too – but it always seems to taste better in the summer!

    Love new ideas for sauces – I’m not too ambitious when it comes to making my own, but I would like to try this one.

  5. Wow that chicken looks fantastic!

  6. That looks like a great sauce! I love ancho chili!

  7. just a glance at the picture and now I’m craving some chicken and corn on the cob! I’ll switch it up a bit, though, and make wings in the oven, as I always do this time of the year, but will try your BBQ sauce. Wish me luck.

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