The Best Barbecue Chicken

All good recipes, especially those that have been passed down (or laterally) among family members, have a story. Here's one that came to me by way of my mom and dad, to them by way of my uncle Sam, and before him.....well, here's the story.

Back in the 50's, my uncle Sam was a NC state trooper. One Saturday night a month, he would get together with other Halifax County law enforcement officials at a cabin out in the country, and they would all dine on bbq chicken. Today, we would call that "networking", but back then it was probably just an opportunity for peers to get together, tell stories, knock back a few cold ones, and eat the best barbecue chicken you can imagine. The cabin, and the large tract of land it rested on, was owned by the Eastman family, you know, the ones affiliated with Kodak. There was an African-American gentleman from Hollister who cooked the chickens for these gatherings, and, as far as I know, the recipe began with him. Of course, he shared it with my uncle Sam, who shared it with my mom and dad, and they with me. So, here it is, the best barbecued chicken I've ever tasted. Keep in mind, this is more of a jumping off point than it is an absolute recipe.

The original recipe calls for whole chickens, cut in half, and cooked on the grill, preferably charcoal, and broth made from cooking the livers, necks, gizzards, etc. in water. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cook them on a gas grill, and use canned chicken broth.

Chicken broth, enough to cover and simmer your grilled chicken in.
1/2 stick of butter per chicken.
The juice of one lemon per chicken.
2 tablespoons of vinegar per chicken.
2 tablespoons of Worchestershire sauce per chicken.
Texas Pete, Tabasco, etc. to taste.
Red pepper flakes to taste.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Grill chicken halves, or breasts, until done. While chickens are grilling, put all the ingredients above into a sauce pot. When the chickens are done, toss them in a sauce pan or stock pot with enough sauce to cover the chickens, then, simmer in the sauce for about half an hour. After plating the chicken, be sure and drizzle some extra sauce on top.