Believe it or not, you don’t need a barbecue or a grill to make BBQ chicken. All you really need is a good barbecue sauce, either store-bought or homemade, that you can brush onto chicken parts. The soul of the dish, whether cooked over smoldering charcoal in the backyard or on a sheet pan in the oven, is its tangy-sweet ketchup-based sauce.
Ali Slagle takes this concept to the next level in her new recipe for oven BBQ chicken. Instead of coating the chicken legs with sauce before cooking, she roasts the dry-rubbed pieces on top of sauce spread thin over the pan. This allows the sauce to thicken, caramelize and turn glossy, and the chicken skin to crisp up. It’s a small tweak that produces gorgeous results, and I can’t wait to give it a go.
To cut the stickiness of the sauce, I love serving BBQ chicken with a fresh and juicy side dish, whether it’s the simplest plate of sliced tomatoes or something more involved, like Ham El-Waylly’s cool and sweet melon salad with pistachio dukkah and basil. The dukkah, a crunchy, nutty spice blend found throughout Egypt, is well worth keeping on hand beyond this one dish. Save the leftover blend to sprinkle over crudités, mix into olive oil for a dip for warm bread or to just eat out of hand as a zippy snack, which is often how you’ll find it in Egypt.
On the busiest nights, even cutting up a melon might be a stretch. In which case, there’s gyeran bap, a lifesaver of a meal made from fried eggs stirred into hot rice and seasoned with soy sauce. Eric Kim adds a brown-butter flourish to his version, along with a garnish of salty gim (roasted seaweed), which heightens the umami in this 10-minute meal.
On the sweeter side, there are Lidey Heuck’s fresh corn pancakes with blueberry sauce. There’s cornmeal in the pancake batter, along with fresh corn kernels, which add a pleasing crunch. You could save it to make for breakfast this weekend, but it’s also an excellent midweek breakfast-for-dinner blowout, which I believe everyone deserves during these dog days of summer.
For dessert, how about chewy no-bake cookies with peanut butter, chocolate and oatmeal? They’re ready in minutes without heating up your kitchen — a perfect no-sweat treat.
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That’s all for now. See you on Wednesday.
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