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Fireworks Grilled Chicken with Quick-Fix Orange Barbecue Glaze

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Fireworks Grilled Chicken with Quick-Fix Orange Barbecue Glaze

Serves 6

Two secrets for great barbecued chicken: First, choose smaller birds and use a cleaver to cut them up yourself, which results in uniformly-sized pieces that stand a better chance of cooking through on the grill before the sweet-hot glaze scorches. And second, start with top-notch purchased barbecue sauce for convenience, but customize it for a little extra backyard flair. This tangy, tender chicken is good hot, warm or at room temperature, depending on the rest of your cookout schedule.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

For Glaze:

1 1/2 cups purchased hickory smoke-flavored barbecue sauce

1 6-ounce container frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons medium-dry sherry

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed through a press

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

For Chicken:

2 small chickens, about 6 1/2 pounds total

Canola oil, for the grill rack

RECIPE METHOD

FOR GLAZE: Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. The glaze can be prepared up to 3 days in advance, if desired. Cover and chill. Return to room temperature before using.

FOR PREPARING CHICKEN: Set one of the chickens up on its tail end, with its back towards you. With a sharp cleaver, cut downwards along both sides of the backbone and through the thigh joints. Reserve the backbone for another use. Cut off the wings. Cut off the legs and separate the drumsticks from the thighs. Split the breasts along the breastbone, then cut each breast half crosswise in half again. Repeat with the remaining chicken. You should have 20 smallish pieces of chicken, about equally assorted between light and dark meat.

TO GRILL CHICKEN: Light a charcoal fire and let it burn down to medium, or preheat a gas grill to medium. Position grill rack about 6 inches above heat source.

When the grill is ready, lightly oil the rack. Lay chicken pieces on the rack, cover and grill 5 minutes. Turn, cover and grill for another 5 minutes. Brush the chicken with some of the glaze, turn and grill for 5 minutes. Continue brushing chicken with glaze and turning it every 5 minutes until the glaze is used up, and the chicken is cooked through while remaining moist, 25 to 30 minutes total grilling time for white meat, 30 to 35 minutes total grilling time for dark meat.

TO SERVE: Transfer to a platter and season lightly to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

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