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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Home made BBQ sauce chicken and French potato salad

So the weather was finally nice here in Montreal yesterday, so I decided that it was barbeque time. As much as I love fancy food barbequed chicken has got to be one of my favourite foods, especially since we use charcoal, not gas, so it gets all nice and smoky with little charred bits. Yum.

All good barbequed chicken must start with a good sauce. Personally, I like to make my own if I have the time. I have a big problem with grocery store sauces, if you read the label the first ingredient invariably tends to be sugar or corn syrup; as a result most of them taste like pure sugar with a bit of tomato added in. I have a few sauce recipes but yesterday I made the recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver. As a lot of home made sauce recipes do, this one called for ketchup as the base. While he is my culinary idol I ignored him and used chili sauce.

Please do try chili sauce. It will change your life. Ok, maybe not quite change your life but you might smack yourself on the forehead and wonder why it took you so long to try it. It's tangier and less sweet than ketchup, I haven't even bought any since I started using chili sauce. (No, I am not being bought off by the Heinz ketchup. I just really, really love this stuff!)

Behold the makings of the sauce. I tried to artfully arrange the different herbs and spices to get a nice picture. There is chili sauce, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, fennel, minced garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary and probably a few other things I can't remember. I mixed everything up and marinated the chicken thighs for a few hours.

Mmm. Delicious barbequed chicken. But since the chicken was getting lonely and needed a side dish I made French potato salad from on of Ina Garten's cookbooks. If you hate mayo this is a good choice; I like mayo but am a great fan of potatoes prepared in all manner of ways. It's dead easy to make. Boil your potatoes, cut them in chunks first though. While that's going on, make vinaigrette; I like to use dijon mustard, chicken broth, white wine, white wine vinagar, salt, pepper and whatever herbs I have in hand. When the potatoes are ready drain them, then toss them in the vinaigrette and cover the bowl with plastic wrap so the potatoes have time to soak up all the lovely flavours.

I decided to top my salad off with green onions (they had been lurking at the bottom of my vegetable crisper for a little while) and parsley that I cut from a pot that I have in the back yard.

This was my final lunch plate all put together. Please excuse the sauce on the place mat, I had a slight mishap while serving myself. Lunch was delicious, if I do say so myself. While I always grumble about how long it takes to set up the charcoal barbeque (while looking enviously at my neighbours who just flick a switch on their gas barbeques to turn them on), I am more than happy to eat the tasty results.
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