Some things just belong together.
Four years ago, I had just moved to Hollywood. My very first two friends there coincidentally were also transplants from North Carolina. We immediately connected on east coast commonalities like pulled pork BBQ and Bojangles french fries. And something about basketball.
One night at our local bar, Loryn ordered something in a tiny cup that resembled watered down Diet Coke. As I explained to her that whiskey scares me and is probably only supposed to be consumed by cowboys, she slid the glass in front of my nose. “Trust me,” she said. And my life has never been the same since.
Two years ago I moved back to North Carolina to Wilmington–a charming coastal town sandwiched between a sandy beach and a gorgeous riverfront. As I became a regular at the Goat & Compass, the 4th Street neighborhood version of Cheers, I began to notice a familiar trend inside each patron’s glass..
For those of you unfamiliar with Jameson, it is a sweet Irish whiskey with a smooth flavor and a robust finish. It’s better sipped over ice than taken as a shot–even if you’re celebrating something really cool. It’s also fantastic for cooking. I’ve used Jameson in everything from bread pudding cream sauce to baked beans to bacon jam.
Next stop: Jameson BBQ Sauce.
Rich, smooth, savory, sweet, tangy, and acidic all in one. Oh yeah, and whiskey-flavored.
Beautiful weather means two important things. One, I can finally put my extensive collection of leg warmers into storage–and two, the weekend cookouts are in abundance. So next time you’re invited for that Saturday grill out and you’re forced to decide between bringing food OR booze.
Be the hero that brings both.
In one dish.
Saturday Grilled Chicken with Homemade Jameson Whiskey BBQ Sauce
12 chicken drumsticks and boneless thighs
Jameson BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
JAMESON BBQ SAUCE:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small sweet onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup Jameson whiskey
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper
In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute shallots, onion, and garlic until translucent–about 5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Add in tomato paste and whisk to combine. Turn the heat to medium high and simmer for about a minute. Deglaze pan with Jameson, scraping up any bits from the bottom. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender (or transfer sauce to a regular blender), pulse until smooth. Cook over low heat for an additional 10 minutes.
Use about 1/3 of the sauce to marinate the chicken. Let marinade sit on chicken for at least an hour or at best–3 hours.
Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor grill to medium heat. Arrange the chicken pieces on the grill and cook untouched for about 5 minutes. Flip each piece and cook an additional 5 minutes. Baste each piece with BBQ sauce and repeat. Cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160. Serve with extra sauce and grilled pineapple with honey, lime, and sea salt.