It's true. I love food. I love to eat. But I do not love the daily chore that is cooking. (Gasp!) But wait, you have a food blog, you say. To which I reply, yes the occasional foray into food preparation and creating a healthy, satisfying or at times an extravagant, feast pleases me. Having to do it everyday - does not. The duty bound, run of the mill, everydayness of cooking can be exhausting and as dull as dirt. So like many home cooks, I have developed routines and quickie cheating versions of kitchen tasks that help me cope.
Let's examine a hugely popular cooking method the world over. Some people think that barbecue was transported from the Caribbean to the rest of the world when Europeans observed the manner in which Amerindians smoked and prepared their meats on a grill called a buccan. Wild game was cured with salt and spices, then covered with wet leaves and cooked on a grill of local wood over an open fire pit. This early method of barbecue was called boucan by the by the French and the word boucaniers (buccaneer)was used to describe persons who prepared their meats this way. The term eventually came to describe pirates who I can only surmise found this a convenient cooking method that served their swashbuckling, beach lifestyle.
Convenient though it may have been for early colonial settlers it's a pain in the steer butt or chicken carcass for a working mom of three - maybe four (counting the days when DH might be acting like a kid himself). Here is my big tip for preparing this popular meal: get your significant other to do it for you:-) Easy enough since the modern day grill seems to draw out a man's primal need to rustle with coals and giant slabs of raw meat which must be tamed with secret marinades, spice rubs, slapped with special sauces and then charred, uhmm I mean grilled. Even if the self same guy doesn't know where to locate a fork in his own kitchen (yes M, I am talking about you), he will no doubt be the owner of the Mercedes Benz of outdoor backyard grills(J this is you). What's more he will be more than willing to show you how to use it with swashbuckling flair. "Gas grills are for sissies," he'll declare through a cloud of smoke thick enough to keep all but the dragonfly sized mosquitoes away.
I love BBQ. DH and I tend to get all dewy eyed when we taste meat that has been smoked to a sweet, smoky, succulent, sticky perfection. Spare ribs at Pussers Marina Cay in the British Virgin Islands - we'll be back. Unfortunately, the chances of me hauling out a grill, fanning hot coals under an already sweltering Caribbean sun, getting smoke in my eyes and my hair are really - NEVER! Instead, when friends invite me to a barbecue, I will ask if it's okay to bring extra meat and whatever extra ingredients the cook might need. These extras are grilled and I take them home for later on in the week. Roll your eyes all you want doyenne of etiquette Marguerite Gorden. If you ever taste my friend J's barbecue you would do the same.
Finally, as I say in the title to this post, If I'm the one cooking, I prefer a method that does not sacrifice flavour but at the same time gets lunch or dinner on the table in quick time. Oven BBQ chicken is a very popular cheat version that appears often on the table for Sunday Lunch in many homes. There are many variations to suit personal preferences. The only must here is that your herbs should be fresh. Okay so the purists out there are probably firing up their own grills now to roast me for daring to call my baked chicken, barbecue. All I can say is, so long as you have that grill lit, may I come over with a few extra pieces of meat ;-)?
So here it is my quickie version of BBQ chicken done in the oven, better known as It's too damned hot to BBQ Chicken recipe! Or for those of you approaching winter in your country feel free to swap out the word hot for cold.)
3 1/2 - 4lbs chicken, cut up
1 tsp salt
1 tsp minced garlic
6 tbs spoons green seasoning (use more or less to your taste)
2 cups Hunts bold (or your favourite babbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup (optional)
a generous splash Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire sauce (or Angostura Bitters or both)
1 tsp ( or more) Caribbean pepper sauce.
1) Wash chicken with lime. Squeeze one lime in 3/4 cup of water. Add to bowl of cut up raw chicken and mix. Pour off the lime water.
2) Season chicken with salt, garlic, green seasoning bitters and or Worcestershire sauce. Leave in the fridge overnight or at least 1/2 hour
3) Place skin side up on a foil-lined, baking dish. Discard marinade. Sprinkle some additional green seasoning over chicken. Mix the ketchup, barbecue sauce and the pepper. Cover chicken with this sauce and bake for 35 - 40 mins at 325 degrees F.
4) Remove from the oven. Coat chicken with additional barbecue sauce and return to the oven.
5) Cook until done about 15 mins more, turning chicken and basting occasionally until chicken has a nice colour and the sauce is a thick gravy. You could always add a little water to it for a thinner sauce. We like a cooked sauce and this saves us the extra step of cooking one on the stove.
here to read more about it. I make my seasoning using chives, celery, Spanish, French and Portuguese thyme, Trinidad seasoning peppers, chadon beni and garlic.
I know my amateur photography doesn't do this justice and there are some of you still doubting that the deliciousness factor of BBQ done in an oven. Well for you doubting Thomas' head over to The Hungry Mouse her technique is slightly different but the result is the same BBQ with less work! Her photos will surely tempt you.