awesome sauce.

I had forgotten all about barbecue chicken. It was something my mom used to make, one of the many things in her rotation of cheap, fast meals. She did not get them from a 30-Minute Meal cookbook. She did not find them on a $5 Dinner web site. I don't know where she got them, but she did, because she had a lot of kids and not a lot of time or money to work with. I grew up on poor people food.

I was reminded about barbecue chicken by the Pioneer Woman when I was browsing the web for something to make with chicken. This dish was never my favorite. I didn't dislike it, but it was really just chicken with sauce on it, and the way the skin was a little fatty always bugged me. But I decided to make it, just because I felt vaguely nostalgic about it now that I remembered it existed.

The Pioneer Woman makes her own barbecue sauce, because that's what the pioneers did, I guess. So I did that, too. However, I did not have a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (also like the pioneers). Even if I did, I was not interested in opening one up so that I could use a small fraction of the contents. Then the rest of the can would sit there in the fridge. It would make me feel wasteful for not coming up with some way to use it, so I would push it towards the back. Then one day I would find it, nasty and growing wee beasties with a penchant for spicy food. So, I'm sorry, Pioneer Woman, it's just not worth the guilt.

So I used a substitution. A year (or two?) ago, I made my own hot sauce. It's a delicious hot sauce, so good you have to wear gloves while you make it. It mellows as it ages, so by now it's mild enough that even I can eat it. I threw a few tablespoons of that stuff into the saucepan and then used the results to make the chicken.

The chicken was fine. Like I said, it was never my favorite thing in the whole world. It might not have even been my mother's favorite thing in the whole world, but it was at least one more cheap and fast meal. But, man alive, that barbecue sauce. I have two bottles of store-bought barbecue sauce in the pantry, and I don't even know what to do with them now. The thought of using them instead of my newly-discovered awesome sauce makes me lose my appetite. I could not stop singing my own praises for having brought this sweet and tangy sauce into being.

How good is this stuff? I'll tell you. The next day, I had some leftover fries with lunch. I ate them with my homemade ranch dressing (my mother's recipe). I was unable to enjoy them, because I was wishing that I had the magic barbecue sauce instead. This sauce is so good that it makes me not enjoy ranch dressing. Not just any ranch dressing, but the ranch dressing of my childhood. That's, like, heresy.

The coolest part about my new sauce is that now I can say that make my own barbecue sauce. What's even cooler is that it has a secret ingredient. And it's not even like one secret ingredient, it's thirteen of them blended together in secret quantities and then aged for a secret amount of time. I feel like a freakin' superhero, or at the very least, Colonel Sanders.

If you are at all interested in making this, please do. It's not hard. The hot sauce is a blender recipe, and the stuff keeps for a very long time, so you won't feel guilty for not using it right away. The barbecue sauce is very good and quick and good and easy and so very good. Did I mention that it's good?

Hot Sauce
Barbecue Chicken - The recipe for the sauce is in there, sub hot sauce in recipe for adobo sauce. Depending on how long you've "aged" your hot sauce, you will need to add to taste. Whether you make the chicken is up to you and your nostalgia.

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