Beer-Brined Barbecue Chicken
3 12 oz cans amber or bock beer
1/3 cup + kosher salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons hot sauce
4 bay leaves
6 pounds asst skin-on bone-in chicken pieces – or two whole chickens, cut up
Juice of 2 large oranges
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sc
1 tablespoon chili powder
vegetable oil for grill grate
Brine the chicken: combine 1 can beer, salt, granulated sugar, hot sauce and bay leaves in a very large bowl and whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the remaining 2 cans of beer, 4 cups water, and the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Make the barbeque sauce: combine the orange juice, vinegar, onion, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender until smooth (the sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate).
Preheat a grill to medium low heat and brush the grates with the vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels; discard the brine. Lightly season the chicken with salt, then arrange on the grill skin-side up. Cover and cook until marked, about 12 minutes per side. Continue cooking, flipping and basting the chicken with the bbq sauce every 3 to 4 minutes (keep covered in between), until a thermometer inserted into the center of a breast registers 165 degrees F, about 15 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Prep and cook time 1 hour – overnight brine time