Barbecue sauce changes with landscape. From the thick and sweet of Kansas to the thin and spicy of Texas, each home has a different recipe.
Colorado doesn’t necessarily have its own style of the sauce, but in my opinion, the tastiest comes when the best of Kansas and Texas coalesce.
The closest I have ever come to finding this unity is from a local cookbook, Colorado Cache. The cookbook has always been a treasure in my house. My mom has always used it in a pinch, and her second favorite brisket recipe is housed there (the first being my grandma’s brisket of course).
Colorado Cache’s recipe, which resides with the brisket recipe, has a stronger sweet flavor than I would prefer, so to remedy it I added hot sauce and more cayenne pepper (below is the recipe as listed in the cookbook).
The roots of my love for BBQ came when my grandparents owned a restaurant in Denver called Gators and served a sauce that was thick and started sweet but had a spicy kick at the end.
Gators has been closed for a long time now, but I still find the taste of barbecue sauce to be comforting.
To satiate my desire for BBQ, I marinated bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts in the barbecue sauce for an hour before tossing them on a medium heat gas grill.
While the chicken marinated, I prepared my ears of corn for the grill. Most recipes suggest pulling back the husks, taking off the silk, rubbing with butter, replacing the husk and then wrapping it in foil.
To me this sounds like a major hassle, mostly because the silk never comes off my hands, but in the name of experimentation I went for it.
I should note that I have never (before now) eaten grilled corn and due to a lack of foil I didn’t use it. But it turns out grilling corn is worth the energy expended in carefully removing and replacing the husks.
The corn takes about as much time as the chicken as long as the ears are on low heat and rotating.
Bone-in chicken takes about 15 minutes per side on a medium heat grill and I always start on the meatiest side. In the last few minutes, I basted my chicken with some more of the sauce and also served it on the side while we ate.
The chicken came out very juicy and the corn, which is in season and can soon be found in the student-run Sustainable Development Organic Garden Market, tasted amazing. We added a little salt and pepper, but nothing else was really needed.
The last piece was watermelon, which not only is in season, but from May until August is in its peak season.
Katie and Jeremy joined me for my meal and found themselves covered in sauce and watermelon. From Katie, a Kansas native, that was a high compliment to me.
L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (to life and eat well).
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 14-ounce bottle catsup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons celery seed
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes and Enjoy!