It’s the sauce that makes it. So easy, and B says it’s the best grilled chicken he’s ever eaten.

17-minute chicken

The sauce is based on a barbecue rib recipe from a cookbook I found in a second-hand bookstore: Gourmet’s America, from 1994.


2 packages chile guajillo entero (dried chiles), about 4 oz total, stemmed, seeded and rinsed (I buy El Guapo brand)
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup good-quality tequila
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon allspice

guajillo chile sauceBlend everything together until it’s pureed and the skins of the chiles are in tiny pieces. I use a boat motor – an immersion blender – but a regular blender works just fine. Try not to eat all the sauce before you can get it on the chicken.

Rub the sauce on a whole raw chicken, put it on some coals – indirect heat – and cook it 15-17 minutes a side, covered, adding more sauce when you turn the chicken, cooking 60-70 minutes total. It will blacken a little as the sauce burns. Let it sit 5 minutes covered with foil after it comes off the fire before you carve it. Serve with extra sauce at the table.


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