Saturday, May 9, 2015

North Carolina Style Mustard Basted BBQ Chicken ... with Sumac Berry Potato Salad











     A Traditional North Carolina Specialty!
     Today's recipe is an old North Carolina open pit barbecue recipe that is simply delicious.  Many folks in North Carolina prefer old fashioned vinegar basted barbecue over thick red BBQ sauces.  North Carolina style vinegar open pit basting sauces are usually flavored with peppers, mustard or both.  Sometimes tomato or sweet red bell pepper is added.
     Slow roasting over an open pit BBQ and constantly basting with an acidic vinegar sauce is the secret to how traditional North Carolina style Pulled Pork BBQ, Pulled Chicken BBQ and Pulled Turkey BBQ is made.  The acidic sauce makes the meat so tender that it easily can be shredded by hand.
     Chicken that is barbecued and basted with a Mustard Vinegar Barbecue Sauce is roasted at a little higher temperature than for making Pulled Chicken BBQ.  The higher temperature prevents the meat from shredding and it keeps the whole pieces of chicken intact.  The higher temperature also caramelizes the vinegar mustard basting sauce and this creates a great flavor.

     I have published several potato salad recipes in the past.  I was thinking up a new potato salad variation when I saw the bag of Sumac Berry Spice in my cupboard.  Sumac Berry?  Why not!  Sumac grows like a weed in America.  Native Americans used sumac berry to treat colds, digestive problems, infections, bladder problems and to make cough syrup.  A pulstice of Sumac Berries is an effective cure for arrow wounds.
     Red Sumac Berries are edible.  White Sumac Berries are poisonous.  Red Sumac Berry has a tangy lemon, red wine and wild berry flavor.  Dried Sumac Berry Spice can be found in Mediterranean food markets and it sells for a nice price.
     Sumac Berries stain a pretty pink magenta color.  If the potato salad is made a few hours ahead of time, it will turn a deep pink color.  I must admit, Sumac Berry Spice does taste nice in a potato salad.  The tart flavor is refreshing.    
 
     Sumac Berry Potato Salad: 
     This recipe yields 2 portions!
     Step 1:  Place an 8 ounce peeled russet potato in a sauce pot.
     Cover the potato with water.
     Boil the potato over medium high heat, till it is tender, but not mushy.
     Cool the boiled potato under cold running water.
     Chill the potato in a refrigerator.
     Step 2:  Dice the potato into small cube shapes.
     Place the diced potato in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 thin sliced green onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of finely diced celery.
     Add 1/2 of a seeded green jalapeño pepper that is finely diced.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sumac berry spice.
     Add 1/2 of a chopped boiled large egg.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
     Add just enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together, while gently mixing.  (About 4 or 5 tablespoons)
     Step 4:  Chill the potato salad in a refrigerator for 1 hour, so the flavors meld.
 
     Mustard Vinegar Basting Sauce:
     Step 1:  Heat a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 4 ounces of unsalted butter.
     Allow the butter to melt.
     Step 2:  Add 1 cup of water.
     Add 2 tablespoons of Dry English Mustard Powder.  (Or 3 tablespoons of dijon mustard)
     Add 1/4 cup of cider vinegar.
     Add 2 tablespoons of Tabasco Pepper Vinegar.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce.
     Add sea salt.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of crushed dried red pepper.  (chile caribe)
     Add 1 pinch of garlic powder.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Step 3:  Simmer the sauce for 2 minutes.
     Take the pot off the heat and set it aside.
 
     North Carolina Style Mustard Basted BBQ Chicken:
     This recipe yields a half chicken serving.
     • The chicken should slowly roasted on a chargrill away from a direct flame.  Roasting over a few embers is best.  
     • The chicken must be basted very often.  The acidic basting sauce will make the chicken very moist and tender.
     • After the chicken is fully cooked, the chicken is finished over a higher temperature flame to give it some caramelized brown color.  
     If you cannot use a chargrill in your area or because rain set in, then the chicken can be cooked on a ribbed cast iron griddle over medium heat, till grill marks appear.  The grilled chicken can then be roasted and basted in a 350ºF oven or under a broiler.  
     Step 1:  Separate the wing, thigh, leg and breast of one half a chicken.  (Leave the skin attached.)
     Cut the chicken breast in half through the bones.
     Step 2:  Heat a chargrill to a medium heat range.
     Place the chicken on the chargrill over moderate heat away from open flames.
     Baste and flip the chicken often, as it slowly roasts.  (The chicken should never look dry.)
     Grill the chicken pieces, till they are lightly caramelized and fully cooked.
     Step 3:  Finish barbecuing the chicken over a high temperature hot spot on the chargrill, till brown highlights appear.  Be sure to flip and baste the chicken often.
 
     Presentation:
     When the North Carolina Style Mustard Basted BBQ Chicken is ready, then pile it up on a plate!
     Serve with a generous scoop of the Sumac Berry Potato Salad.
     Sprinkle a little bit of sumac berry spice over the potato salad.
     Garnish with curly leaf parsley sprigs.
     Serve with your favorite BBQ fixings and a bottle of Green Tabasco Pepper Vinegar on the side.
 
     North Carolina Mustard Basted BBQ Chicken is tender, juicy and delicious!   

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