My husband Jack and I each came to our marriage with a large collection of cookbooks – and one from Jack’s collection was 365 Ways to Cook Chicken by Cheryl Sedaker. In that cookbook, the author states that a version of this Sweet and Smoky Chicken (which we’re sharing here with you today) was one of Frank Perdue’s favorite chicken recipes!
So with an endorsement like that – we HAD to try the recipe ourselves! And…we love it too!
This sweet and smoky chicken has great flavors that come together from combining simple ingredients: ketchup, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard, plus some liquid smoke. (The original recipe called for hickory smoked salt – but we couldn’t find it at our supermarket. So instead, we swapped in some liquid smoke and kosher salt – both ingredients that are typically found in the spice aisle at your local supermarket. Or you can find it here.)
We also adapted the original recipe by cooking this sweet and smoky chicken on the grill. This sauce is really fantastic caramelized on the grill over high heat – and the chicken stays moist and juicy too! (As an alternative, you can bake this in the oven as the original recipe did – but we would recommend finishing the chicken under the broiler to crisp up the skin.)
On a side note – Jack told me that he had the honor of meeting and speaking with Frank Perdue himself, many years ago. Jack remembers him as an excellent person, and a tough businessman who knew a whole lot about chickens! But as tough as he was – Jack found him to be very cordial and funny, and a great pleasure to meet!
Recipe adapted from an earlier edition of 365 Ways to Cook Chicken: Simply the Best Chicken Recipes You’ll Find Anywhere!
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- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Few grinds fresh black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for grill grates
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Preheat your grill to about 425-450 degrees.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the skin of the chicken breasts.
- Brush the vegetable oil over the grill grates and place the chicken skin side down. Do not touch for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Then move the breasts to an upper rack of the grill, close the cover and cook for ten minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix ketchup, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, liquid smoke and salt.
- Brush on sauce to coat, close cover and cook for ten more minutes.
- Check for doneness by poking meat. If it springs back, it is done.
- Remove from grill and brush on more sauce.
- Serve remaining sauce with chicken.
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