Y’all are aware, barbecue is practically synonymous with summer here in the United States, and some would insist South Carolina is the spiciest. This southern state is one of several that claim to be the “birthplace of barbecue,” and it has a whole host of different sauce options if you’re looking to change it up—like this tangy sauce which is a nice reprieve from the traditional red BBQ sauces.
The Midlands of South Carolina serve a barbecue sauce that is easily recognizable thanks to its brightly colored mustard base. This recipe, Carolina-Style Barbecued Chicken is sweet and tangy, and arguably the one the state is most known for. Here, mustard tames the sweetness of the brown sugar. If you don’t have regular yellow mustard on hand, substitute Dijon-style like I did—it provides a golden yellow color and a bit more twang.
Because daughter Julia was visiting, I cooked 4 each of both dark (Hubby’s preference) and light meat (the ladies’ choice); and being the “saucy” folks that we are, I increased the marinade mixture. Well, I’m so glad I did because the chicken was slammin’ good! This might be my new favorite BBQ sauce; and in fact, we’re thinking of smothering our next racks of grilled baby back ribs with it…. stay tuned…
TIP: If using breasts halves, chop each one into two so that the pieces are approximately the same size as the thighs.
Carolina-Style Barbecued Chicken
- 1/2 cup yellow or Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs and/or breasts
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- Preheat a grill for direct and indirect heat to high.
- Whisk the mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in the butter.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then toss with about one-third of the mustard sauce in a large ziploc until coated. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Brush the grill grates generously with vegetable oil. Remove the chicken from the fridge.
- Put about 1/4 cup of the remaining mustard sauce in a small bowl for basting and reserve the rest for topping.
- Sear the chicken over the direct heat until well marked on both sides, about 2-3 minutes each side.
- Move the chicken to the indirect heat side of the grill and cover, basting occasionally with the sauce, and flipping after about 10 minutes. It is ready when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thighs registers 170 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes per side.
- Serve the chicken with the reserved mustard sauce, sliced tomato and other sides as desired.
Adapted from a recipe from Food Network Kitchen