In What Actors Eat When They Eat, Cary Grant’s entry is for Barbecued Chicken. It’s a simple oven-barbecued chicken recipe, nothing fancy. I can’t help but wonder if the recipe is a nod to his more humble beginnings. About the recipe, Grant says:
“Now go to it, friends, and don’t blame me if it is not to your liking. For after all, the recipe is not mine. It is the national prize winner of the year and I happen to like it.”
I made the recipe, and it is pretty good. I used one 4.5 pound chicken, rather than the recipe’s suggested 3 chickens, 1.5 pounds each. I increased the oven heat and baked it for a long time to ensure the chicken was well-cooked and tender. I also thickened the sauce a bit as suggested by the recipe’s liner notes. The recipe produces a LOT of sauce, but it isn’t really a problem, since it helps keep the chicken moist and tender as it cooks. Next time I might cut down on the vinegar a bit; that is a personal preference, though. It’s a simple and homey recipe, just right for a cold autumn evening.
- 3 chickens, 1 ½ lbs each (or 1 chicken, 4.5 lbs), cut into pieces
- Olive or vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup A-1 sauce
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (or more if needed)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat olive or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium till hot. Fry the chicken pieces in the hot oil in batches till browned. Season with salt and pepper as you cook.
- Place browned chicken pieces in a 9×13 baking dish. In a saucepan, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, water, A-1 sauce, sugar, cider vinegar, onion and garlic. Whisk together over medium heat till warm.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water till smooth. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the barbecue sauce, whisking till incorporated. Continue to whisk over medium heat till the sauce is hot, bubbly, and thickened. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce evenly across the top of the chicken pieces. Cover the roasting dish with foil.
- Bake the chicken for 60-75 minutes, or until the meat is tender and well cooked. Remove from the oven. If you’d like to serve extra sauce with the chicken, skim the fat drippings from the top of the sauce. To thicken the leftover sauce, pour it into a saucepan and heat over medium. Mix together equal amounts of cornstarch and water, a half tablespoon at a time, and slowly whisk into the sauce. Heat and add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly, till desired consistency is reached. Serve chicken warm with the thickened barbecue sauce on the side.
You will also need: 9×13 baking dish, saucepan, aluminum foil