minimalist barbecue sauce – smitten kitchen


Needless to say, the recipe as written below will not make a lot, about 1/4 cup. I merely wanted to establish the base formula that I like and how to tweak it. Scale it as needed. I use about 1/3 cup to coat 2 1/2 pounds of chicken cutlets, in large chunks, with some brushed on as it cooks. It’s thinner than a bottled sauce, ideal for cooking on and into other ingredients.

  • 1 generously heaped tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce of your choice, such as Sriracha or Tabasco, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire or fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk everything in a bowl, taste, add more of ingredients to taste, and seasoning as needed. More ketchup, for example, will make for a less intense sauce that’s closer to what you’d have in a bottle from a grocery store. The amount above makes 1/4 cup; scale it up as needed.

To make chicken skewers, as shown: I cut 2 1/2 pounds of large, thick chicken breast cutlets into large chunks (about 1 to 2 inches). In a bowl, I pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over it, just to thinly coat each piece. Thread them on skewers and grill on a very hot grill, rotating only when lightly charred underneath on each side, and continuing to rotate until they cooked evenly, about 7 to 10 minutes total, brushing occasionally with another tablespoon or so of sauce as they cook.

To make “fake baked beans”: Mince 1/4 of a onion and sauté slowly in 1 tablespoon of oil in the bottom of a medium saucepan, until soft. Add one 15-ounce can (1 3/4 cups) small white navy beans, drained and rinsed, plus the ingredients for one yield of the sauce above. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and gently simmer the mixture together for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if it gets to dry, and adjusting seasonings to taste.



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