Indoor Root Beer BBQ

This recipe is from Bon Appetit years ago and we have it at least once a summer. Normally, it’s so labor intensive–brining, rubbing, basting, smoking– that D saves it for company. Since the wee ones are preventing us from doing much entertaining, I had to figure out a way to get our fix and it turned out to be super easy. We had it with some sauteed squash and zucchini and a box of garlic and olive oil rice (Far East). It was devoured by the boy when presented as leftovers (the chicken and rice, not the squash.)

1 package bone-in chicken breasts

McCormick BBQ rub

Root Beer BBQ sauce


BBQ Sauce

Ginger gives this sauce a spicy punch.

1 cup root beer

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon mild-flavored (light) molasses

1 teaspoon liquid smoke*

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly. Transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead; keep refrigerated.)

*Smoke-flavored liquid seasoning is available at specialty foods stores and many supermarkets.

Brine chickens: about 1 C salt and 1 C sugar in a large pot filled with water for 30 min to 1 hr. Dry them on paper towels

Make BBQ Sauce.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rub chickens over and under skin with BBQ rub. Brush outside of chickens with 2 tbsp melted butter. ( I forgot this step and the skin started looking zombie-like and gray). Place breast side up on a shallow foil lined pan.

Roast for 20 minutes or until juices start to run out. Baste with Root Beer BBQ sauce and turn the heat up to 450. Roast another 10 min to set the glaze.


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