North Carolina Cheerwine Barbecue Chicken Recipe: Who Knew? by Donna John
Don't you love it when you discover a recipe you've never heard of? Being from Texas, we love our barbecued chicken, so how have I not heard of Cheerwine barbecue chicken?
This North Carolina Cheerwine barbecue chicken recipe uses a soft drink that I have also not heard of: Cheerwine. Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soda made by Carolina Beverage Corporation in Salisbury, N.C. It has been produced since 1917, claiming to be "the oldest continuing soft drink company still operated by the same family."
This easy barbecue chicken recipe is cooked on a grill, but if you don't feel like firing up the grill, bake the chicken in a 375-degree F oven until cooked through, about 35 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces and your oven. If you can't find Cheerwine, use cherry cola instead.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
- 1 whole chicken, cut up (or your favorite bone-in chicken pieces)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup Cheerwine (if you don't have access to Cheerwine, use cherry cola)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Here's how to make it:
- Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
- Add the ketchup Cheerwine or cherry cola, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, pepper, brown sugar and mustard. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Divide the sauce in two equal portions (half will be used to baste and the other half as a sauce when serving).
- Preheat a grill to medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put the chicken on the grill and cook about 20 minutes on each side, covered.
- Start basting the chicken with the Cheerwine sauce and continue to cook, uncovered, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove chicken and serve with the reserved Cheerwine sauce.
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