Honey Chili Barbecue Chicken – an easy homemade chili barbecue sauce gets combined with honey, then brushed on in multiple layers to create a deliciously sticky sweet glaze on barbecue chicken.
If you have never made your own barbecue sauce before, you should definitely give it a shot. I make several kinds of barbecue sauce and am always experimenting with making them a little more or less spicy, tangy or sweet. With a good tomato base you can develop your own signature sauces by varying the three key elements.
There is endless variety in the herbs and spices you can add to create fragrant or spicy versions. Smoked spices like chipotle powder and smoked paprika can add an additional smoky hint. Use different vinegars in varying amounts to play with the tangy side of your sauce; I’ve used everything from rice wine vinegar to balsamic in my sauces.
Finally, for the sweet side there are also many options; honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar are some possibilities all of which will add a unique flavor component to a good barbecue sauce. Today’s sauce takes its taste inspiration from a pot of chili con carne, using chili powder and cumin as the base spices for a very fragrant spicy sauce.
One of my favorite ways to use a homemade barbecue sauce is to add honey to the finished sauce to create an awesome barbeque glaze for chicken or pork. Simply add honey in about a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio of sauce to honey to create a sweet sticky barbeque glaze that is especially awesome on some well grilled chicken wings. Several coats of the glaze in the final minutes of cooking time will make for some of the best barbecue chicken you will sample this grilling season.
Like this Honey Chili Barbecue Chicken recipe?
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- 3-4 pounds of chicken pieces , well trimmed
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 large red onion , diced
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 large very ripe diced tomatoes with the skins removed ( or a 28-32 ounce can crushed tomatoes)
- 1¼ c ups brown sugar
- ½ cup malt vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 4 tbsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the barbecue sauce
Saute the onion and garlic all together with the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan until the onions have softened.
Add the tomatoes. Simmer gently together until the tomatoes begin break down and get mushy (or until the sauce is reduced by ¼ if using canned tomatoes).
Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce.
Simmer all together over low heat for about a half hour or until the sauce reaches the consistency of a good barbeque sauce. I like mine a little thicker than most because it is easier to brush on whatever is being grilled. Store in airtight mason jars in the fridge.
To make Honey Chili Barbecue Chicken
Take one cup of this sauce and blend in ⅓ cup good quality honey.
Grill your chicken pieces until almost completely cooked, then start brushing on the glaze over low flame, turning the chicken pieces often and continuing to brush multiple layers of the glaze onto them, until the pieces are fully cooked.