Grilled Chicken with Spicy Barbecue Sauce

3 cups sauce

Use this rich, smoky sauce for marinating and basting meat or chicken before grilling. Spice lovers rejoice -- this recipe packs one hot punch.


  • 6 dried mora peppers

  • 4 dried cascabel peppers

  • 3 dried pequín peppers

  • 3 pounds tomatoes, cored and quartered

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • ¼ cup cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup unsulfured molasses

  • 8 chicken-breast halves, skin on and bone in

  • Olive or canola oil for the grill


  1. Toast the dried peppers in a skillet on medium-high heat; using tongs, turn so they brown evenly. Remove when just browned; peppers can burn quickly so watch closely. Transfer to medium bowl. Cover with hot water, and soak until softened, about 30 minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, pat dry, break apart, and remove the stems and seeds. Chop peppers. Reserve strained liquid for another use.

  2. Place the tomatoes and peppers in medium saucepan, and simmer with 2 to 3 tablespoons water over low heat until mixture is very liquid, 20 to 30 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the medium disk to remove seeds and skins.

  3. Return the tomato liquid to saucepan. Add the salt, pepper, ginger, allspice, sugar, vinegar, and molasses. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator, tightly sealed, for up to 1 month.

  4. Place the chicken in a large nonreactive pan. Rub about 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce over each breast; refrigerate remaining sauce for another grilling. Rub the grill well with oil, and heat to medium high. (Chicken can also be cooked on a well-oiled grill pan or under the broiler on a rimmed baking sheet.) Cook over even heat, turning as needed to keep from scorching, 6 to 8 minutes per side. (If the chicken breasts are thick, finish cooking all the way through by moving them to the coolest part of the grill and covering them, or by putting them in a 350 degrees oven 15 to 20 minutes, until juices run clear.) Serve with Confetti Corn Bread and any of the fresh salsas and condiments.

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