Today’s recipe is a tale of two chickens. I had bought two whole chickens and cut them into parts to try two different barbecued chicken recipes; one using my homemade Brown Sugar and Balsamic Barbeque Sauce and the second, a simple grilled chicken that was marinated with the popular Indian spice mix, Garam Masala. One of the two versions, both of which turned out to be excellent, occupied each side of the grill.

If you have never tried to make your own barbeque sauce before, this Brown Sugar & Balsamic version might just be a good place to start. My kids in particular love this sauce; number one son proclaimed it the best BBQ sauce ever. I use it in many different ways, from a dip for mini meatball hors d’ouevres, to a great standard sauce beside the summer grill. It really does have some great flavours going for it; from the sweet brown sugar to the pungent balsamic vinegar and the smokiness of smoked paprika. All these elements work in harmony and the apple helps give the sauce body and a wonderful tangy background flavor.

As I was glazing the chicken on one side of the grill with the barbeque sauce, I looked at the other side of the grill and thought: I wonder what the Indian marinated chicken would be like with some of the homemade BBQ sauce?

At that very moment, Spouse stuck her head out the kitchen door and said, “You should try putting some of that BBQ sauce on the Indian marinated chicken.” Well, I guess that little coincidence sealed the deal and I did exactly that. The result was simply incredible; so much so that I have been craving more of this chicken every day since. This is definitely not boring BBQ chicken! It is an incredible flavor collision, which has quickly become a summertime favorite at my house.

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Barbeque Sauce

1 large red onion, diced
6 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large apple thinly sliced

Sauté all together in a medium sized saucepan until the onions and apples have softened. Add:

8 large very ripe diced tomatoes with the skins removed ( or a 28-32 ounce can crushed tomatoes)

Sauté together until the tomatoes begin  break down and get mushy (or until the sauce is reduced by 1/4 if using canned tomatoes), then add:

1 1/4 c ups brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 tsp crushed chili paste (or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, more or less to taste of either if you want to better control the heat)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 whole nutmeg, finely grated
2 tbsp fresh finely grated ginger
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Simmer all together over low heat for about a half hour or until the sauce reaches the consistency of a good barbeque sauce. I like mine a little thicker than most because it is easier to brush on whatever I am grilling.
Store in airtight mason jars in the fridge.

Accidental Indian Barbeque Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut into individual pieces and trimmed of excess skin and fat
1 clove finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
juice of one lemon
Marinate in a Ziploc bag for about an hour (no longer) before cooking completely on a gas or charcoal grill. In the final 10 minutes of cooking time, continuously brush the barbeque sauce in several layers onto the grilled chicken turning it several times during the glazing process.

Great served with a simple fresh summer salad and/or baked potatoes.

For more summer-style recipes visit the author’s blog Rock Recipes