I once read somewhere that southern BBQ is like European wine; no two regions taste the same. (You may have read that on this blog before). Well, it's true! My favorite BBQ sauce is both sweet and spicy, but not too much to either side of that spectrum. This sauce is just right. I made it on a whim one night, mostly because I was trying to use up some things in my pantry. I'm so glad I did! This recipe made enough sauce to baste six chicken breasts and still fill a mason jar to use later on (which I have, as you can see from the picture). Try it; it's a winner!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/4 cups ketchup
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 canned chipotles in adobo, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon molasses
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the 1/2 cup bourbon and cook until completely reduced. Add the ketchup and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes. Add mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, chipotles, brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, cayenne, honey, and molasses. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a jar, add the remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon, and cool to room temperature.
Works wonderfully to baste chicken, brisket, or pork chops while grilling out!
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay's Throwdown, by Bobby Flay.