This past Christmas, I stood on my front porch marveling at my shiny new red propane grill with detachable side shelves and bottle opener. Forget turkey and stuffing: This girl was having barbecue chicken to celebrate my holiday.
Luckily I always keep poultry on hand, but condiments were a little trickier. Rummaging through my cabinets, I found it one bottle of brown-sugar barbecue sauce. Unfortunately, it expired in 2002.
Between wondering what else in my cabinet might be a front-runner for a severe case of botulism, I noticed I had almost all the items found on the bottle's ingredients list, minus a few mono-oxi-saccho-ribo-ates.
I went to work conjuring a tomato-based brew that would do my chicken justice. I managed to produce a sauce worthy of any pit master's approval and converted more than one family member to holiday barbecue.
Amanda's Famous Barbecue Sauce
1 16 ounce bottle apple-cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
Dash of salt and pepper
Note: For a diabetic-friendly recipe, replace ketchup and brown sugar with tomato sauce and sugar substitute.
Bring apple-cider vinegar to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, and let vinegar boil down until a quarter to a third of a cup remains—about 30 to 45 minutes. (Note: You can use regular vinegar, but I prefer the little bit of extra sweetness.)
Add minced garlic and dried minced onion. Continue to simmer for another five minutes. Stir in ketchup and brown sugar. Check consistency; if mixture is too thick, add up to 1/4-cup water. Stir in paprika and chili powder. Salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture come back up to a boil, then remove from heat.
Makes almost two cups of sauce, enough for one whole cut-up chicken