Dede's Barbecued Chicken
Source of Recipe
From "Bon Appétit, Y'all" by Virginia Willis
"In the heat of the summer, there's nothing better for keeping the heat out of the kitchen than firing up the grill. Dede would make his barbecued chicken on the Fourth of July, using a potent vinegar bath on grilled chicken that produced a pungent, meaty odor, sending out billowing clouds of steam and smoke as the chicken cooked on the grill. My sister and I fought to help pack the ice and rock salt in the ice cream machine for homemade peach ice cream. I wasn't nearly as fond at the time of being given the chore of grating the cheese for the pimento cheese. For many years, my grandparents did not have air-conditioning. Meme would stay up late the night before or wake up very early in the morning and work in the cool, quiet hours of the hot July heat to prepare her portion of the feast. The humming of the fan was often her only company before the house started stirring and the cousins started piling out of bunks and cots."
List of Ingredients
◦ ½ cup water
◦ ½ cup apple cider vinegar
◦ ¼ cup peanut oil, plus more for the grate
◦ 2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)
◦ 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
◦ 1 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning the chicken
◦ 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
◦ Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare a charcoal fire using about 6 pounds of charcoal and burn until the coals are completely covered with a thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium-hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds). Or, for a gas grill, turn on all burners to high, close the lid, and heat until very hot, 10 to 15 minutes.
Combine the water, vinegar, peanut oil, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a squirt bottle. Set aside.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Apply some oil to the grill grate. Place the chicken on the grill, leaving plenty of space between each piece. Grill until seared, about 1 to 2 minutes per side for legs and thighs, and 3 or so minutes for breasts. Move the chicken to medium-low heat or reduce the heat to medium; continue to grill, turning occasionally and squirting with the marinade, until the juices run clear when pierced, 12 to 18 minutes. Remove the pieces from the grill as they cook and transfer to a warm platter. Give them a final squirt of sauce for flavor and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6