Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oven-Roasted Rhubarb BBQ Chicken

This dish has turned out to be one of my favorite Sunday-clean-out-the-refrigerator inventions to date. Hot or cold it is great!

Last Sunday, I had to use up a tray of chicken legs, so I dug around and found a container of rhubarb sauce that I had made earlier in the summer. It became the base for one of the best, most unusual BBQ sauces!

I started with about cup and half of the rhubarb sauce --- I will post that recipe at the end -- it is super easy ---and added ingredients to make it into a BBQ sauce: Dijon mustard, ginger, then

lots of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of Liquid Smoke, and fresh rosemary and sage. The rhubarb sauce was already sweet and had hot pepper flakes in it, so I did not have to add any heat or brown sugar/honey while I would usually do to a BBQ sauce. But it was still missing the smokiness that make a great BBQ sauce in my opinion.

So, I added Chili 9000 which is a Penzey's spice mix that is 100% chili and a wonderful mix that I find hard to describe --- it is wonderful and usual --- not hot at all, just layers and layers of chillies. It worked with the tanginess of the rhubarb perfectly.

To prepare the chicken. Clean it, pat it dry. Generously salt and pepper it.

Coat each piece generously and lay them out on a heavy duty baking pan with plenty around around each piece so it will brown well.

Bake at 350 degrees -- be sure to preheat the oven -- until the meat is cooked -- these legs took about 50 minutes. I roasted leftover veggies at the same time.

Slice or chop your veggies to the same thickness and size so that they cook evenly. In this case, I sliced up a sweet potato and onion, then oiled them with olive oil, and added salt, pepper and fresh thyme.

They were done a little earlier than the chicken -- start checking at about 30 minutes -- I flipped them half way through to brown them on both sides. These were done at about 40 minutes. They were yummy, too.

For the rhubarb sauce:
. A friend had lots of rhubarb to harvest. I picked 1.5 pounds of rhubarb.

Remove the leaves, which are poisonous, and chop the rest into 1 to 2 inch lengths. It's very celery like at this point. Put it in a large saucepan, add 3/4 c sugar and the juice of a whole orange. Tom helped me. Then, I added a pinch of salt, because that's what I do when I make cranberry sauce and it helps, and then I added some a splash of vanilla, two glugs of honey, and some hot pepper flakes.

Cook it until it looks like this. Then I pureed it with a hand blender to get rid of the stringiness. Yes, it is tart, but not too tart. It's sort of like adult applesauce. I think rhubarb is an acquired taste.

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