Today, my two culinary partners in crime, who both happen to be from North Carolina, are teaching me how to make a classic summertime BBQ spread! Each recipe is my take on a southern classic, and the star of the show is absolutely the grilled chicken. It gets slathered with an insanely flavorful homemade BBQ sauce made with tamarind, one of my all time favorite ingredients, that gives the sauce a slightly sour, tangy flavor and beautiful color. The sauce has even more of my favorite things, like Thai chilis, soy sauce, and TONS of garlic, and the result is a umami-packed flavor bomb. If you think you don’t like tamarind, you HAVE to try it in this BBQ sauce!
I was told some classic sides for this would be cornbread and broccoli salad, and while the cornbread is classic and insanely good (it’s Rachel’s family recipe!), I *had* to add a little something to the broccoli salad. The main elements are the usual suspects: broccoli, toasted almond, dried cranberries, and red onion, but the dressing has a hefty amount of olive oil and TAHINI! I will include tahini in as many recipes as humanly possible, and it is insanely good in this broccoli salad. It even converted me, a broccoli hater, into someone who genuinely enjoyed eating this. (Sorry, Mom!!)
Serve this with some freshly brewed sweet tea, and you have a southern summer spread – with a liiiittle Eitan flair – done right! Thank you, Rachel and Olivia!
Tamarind Garlic BBQ Chicken
- For the BBQ Chicken
- 2 (4 pound) whole chickens, cut into 8 pieces each (4 breasts, 4 thighs, 4 drumsticks, 4 wings)
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil
- For the Tamarind Garlic BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup tamarind concentrate or strained pulp
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce, optional
- 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 Thai bird’s eye chili, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add chicken pieces to a racked sheet tray and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, to remove some of the chill.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add all ingredients and whisk well to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until sugar has dissolved and sauce is lightly thickened. Remove from heat and reserve 1 cup of sauce for serving.
- Refrigerate sauce and allow to cool to room temperature. Preheat grill to 450°F-500°F while sauce cools, creating direct and indirect heat zones. Fit two sheet trays with racks and set aside. Oil grill grates with vegetable oil, then also brush all sides of chicken with oil.
- Add chicken breasts to grill and cook for 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway, and then brushing cooked half with a few tablespoons of barbecue sauce. Cook un-sauced side for another 6-7 minutes, then flip and brush with another few tablespoons of sauce. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute, flip once more to caramelize all sides, then transfer to prepared sheet tray. If sauce begins to burn, transfer to indirect heat. The internal temperature of all chicken needs to reach 160°F before being removed from the grill.
- Grill thighs and drumsticks for 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway, then repeat the saucing process as above, cooking for an additional 5-6 minutes. Transfer to prepared sheet tray.
- Finally, add chicken wings to grill and grill for 2-3 minutes, repeating the saucing process once again, and cook wings for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a serving platter and serve with broccoli salad and cornbread.
For the Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
For the Broccoli Salad
- 8 cups chopped broccoli florets and tender stems (about 2 large heads)
- ⅓ cup craisins
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
- In a very large mixing bowl, add all salad ingredients and toss well to combine. Drizzle dressing over top and gently mix, fully incorporating the dressing. If needed, add additional salt and pepper.
- Serve with BBQ chicken and cornbread. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.
- ¾ cup (118 g) fine cornmeal
- ⅔ cup (80 g) flour
- ¼ cup (32 g) masa
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup oil, plus 2 tablespoons for greasing
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 1 cup milk, divided (I used plant based milk)
- ⅔ cup sour cream (I used coconut yogurt)
- 2 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced into 5 pieces (I used plant based butter)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Add ½ cup oil and eggs and using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. The mixture should resemble a thick paste. Then using a whisk, add ½ cup milk and whisk well to combine. Add remaining milk, as well as sour cream and gently whisk until just combined. Set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to an 8×8 glass baking dish. Swirl the oil around the base of baking dish to fully cover the bottom. Pour batter into prepared dish and top with slices of butter.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or golden brown around the edges and lightly golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until lightly warm to the touch. Slice and serve. Cornbread keeps in tightly sealed container for up to 3 days, or wrapped well in the freezer for 2 months.