Makes 4 servings.
The sweet, mild basting sauce produces a caramelized crust that helps keep the chicken tender and juicy during cooking. For a smokier flavor, add chips or chunks of hickory, mesquite or other flavored woods. Because of the sugar in the sauce, indirect heat is used in this recipe so the chicken will not get charred.
1 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic Juice of 1 lemon
1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into serving pieces
Combine tomato puree, vinegar, oil, Worcestershire, sugar, molasses, mustard, garlic and lemon juice in a large nonreactive saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Set aside for 1 hour to permit flavors to meld.
Pat chicken dry.
Prepare charcoal fire for indirect-heat cooking. When coals are ready, place chicken directly over hot coals; lightly brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). Rearrange chicken on rack so pieces are not directly over coals; close lid. Cook, monitoring coals to maintain a low cooking temperature (about 225 degrees F), for 15 minutes. Then turn chicken again.
Grill another 15 minutes, then place heavy-duty aluminum foil under chicken to help prevent flare-ups. Baste chicken with half of the sauce, reserving remaining sauce. Close lid. Every 10 minutes, baste chicken; turn over. Chicken is done when internal temperature of thickest part of breast meat registers 170 degrees F and other parts register 180 degrees F (50 minutes to 1 hour total).
Pass reserved sauce at the table.