root beer barbecue sauce – finger sucking delicious!

by Michelle


I was supposed to be getting ready for friends coming to dinner. Instead the sun pulled me out into the pastures. I couldn’t help myself. It’s been such a cold wet Spring that to finally feel heat from the sun was more than this girl could resist!

Transparent Apple Tree

Our Transparent apple tree is in full bloom. She only produces fruit every second year so her display of apple blossoms is a much anticipated event at out farm. As I stood under the heavily blossomed branches, I was deafened from the roar of bees overhead. It’s funny that I didn’t feel nervous. I knew those bees were far more interested in apple blossoms than in me.

Apple Blossoms

This tree desperately needs to be pruned but I can’t bring myself to alter her beautiful shape. Sadly, my inability to ruthlessly trim her up means we’ll lose apples to the ground because they are too high for us to pick even when Ralph puts me in the tractor’s front loading bucket and lifts me into the air! 

Transparent Apple Tree

Yellow Wild Flowers

root beer barbecue chicken

The fields are full of wild violets, bluets, dandelions and strawberry blossoms. Soon the buttercups and daisies will be in bloom. We let the pastures get quite high because I can’t bear the idea of mowing down our beautiful wild flowers…

Wild Violets

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we’d be tackling the barn this summer. YIKES!

Barn Roof

The granite blocks are holding up this end of the barn. I haven’t asked but I’m assuming we’ll be adding a little more fortification – just sayin’!


Our first dinner party of the summer featured one of my favorite warm weather treats – barbecued chicken. I loved it! I especially love it slathered with a yummy sauce, char-grilled then more sauce for dipping. The sauce is critical. It needs to be perfectly balanced. Not too sweet, acidic or spicy. Too much in any one direction spoils the experience. I’ve made root beer barbecue sauce for the last ten years. I found the original recipe in a “grilling” magazine and have been playing with the recipe ever since. I’ve never made it the same way twice still we’ve devoured every drop.

root beer barbecue chicken

 Without a doubt, this barbecue sauce  is finger sucking delicious!

Rootbeer Barbecue Chicken Dinner

Root Beer Barbecue Chicken

Preheat oven 400*F

6 lbs chicken pieces

Place chicken pieces on a parchment lined baling sheet.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Roast chicken for 35 minutes

While chicken is baking prepare the sauce.

Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can rootbeer
1 cup no name ketchup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Zest and juice of 1 lime

In a large skillet warm olive oil over medium high heat.
Saute onion and garlic until translucent
Add root beer and reduce to ½ a cup
Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.

Preheat barbecue grill to medium high

Place chicken pieces on the grill bone-side down.
Paint chicken heavily with sauce.
After 5 minutes, turn chicken pieces over and repeat process
Give chicken a final coating of sauce on the top side just before serving.

THE LOVE: Don’t let your grill over flame. There is a lot of sugar in the sauce. You want it caramelized not burnt! If you have too much fire, lower the heat and increase your cook time. I served the chicken with oven baked jalapeno cheddar sweet potatoes. I’ll do a post on them later in the summer…

printable copy

root beer barbecue chicken

one year ago: quinoa and chickpea salad

two year ago: beer bread

Evening Light

Thanks for reading.