It’s been a few years since I’ve made my own barbecue sauce. However, when I came across a recipe for caramelized chipotle chicken it sounded so good that I had to try it. Of course, being me, I tinkered with the recipe somewhat and was really pleased with results. Whether you use it to coat chicken or pork chops as a entree or grill shrimp basted with it as an appetizer, I bet you’ll make it over and over again.
The keys to success with the recipe are: 1) Watch your garlic carefully as you saute it. It quickly goes from golden to burnt in a matter of seconds. And you do not want to use burnt garlic in this or any dish – it will ruin the flavor. Better to start over. First time cooking garlic this way and nervous? Don’t worry if you remove it from the pan when it’s not as golden as it should be (see below) –
it will still contribute great flavor to the sauce. 2) The caramelized onions also provide terrific flavor. Same advice as with the garlic – don’t let it burn. However, onions aren’t at all fussy like garlic is. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to remove it from the pan before it burns.
Chipotle Barbecue Sauce with Caramelized Onions (adapted from Caramelized Chipotle Chicken, Gourmet Magazine, September 2009)
Makes enough sauce for 8 pieces of chicken.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup canned chipotle chilies in adobo (from a 7 oz. can)*
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- Heat oil in a 12″ heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook garlic, stirring constantly, until golden and then remove immediately with a slotted spoon to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set up your blender or food processor and add the ketchup, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, chiptotle chilies in adobo, Worcestershire sauce and cider vinegar. Add the garlic and onions (once the latter has cooled 10 minutes). With top on blend until relatively smooth but with some texture. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).
Here’s the Gourmet magazine instructions for using this on chicken in your oven – its fabulous!:
- Preheat oven to 450F with rack in middle.
- Coat chicken with half of sauce, then roast, skin side up, in a 17×11 inch heavy 4-sided sheet pan 25 minutes. remove from oven and brush with remaining sauce, then continue roasting until chicken is cooked through and well-browned in some spots, 20 to 25 minutes more.
*If you’ve never used chipotle chilies in adoba before you are in for a wonderful surprise. The product can be found in the International aisle of your grocery store in the Mexican section. I’ve shown an example of the product below: