1/2 stick butter
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 15oz can tomato puree
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup regular molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 large sweet onion, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup worcestershire sauce or to taste
Juice of one whole sweet lemon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Sauce is enough to coat about 8-10 chicken pieces depending on size.
Make the Sauce
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add onion and garlic and saute on medium heat for a couple minutes.
add the remaining ingredients, bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep sauce from sticking to the bottom and burning as the sauce reduces and thickens.
Don't be afraid to adjust ingredients and sweetness to your tastes, this is just a base.
Brine the Chicken
pieces for 45 minutes to an hour if you like (brining is an excellent way to impart flavor and keep the meat juicy):
Dissolve 3/4 cup of kosher salt and 3/4 cup of brown sugar (or natural cane sugar) in a large pan with about a quart of water by bringing it to a light boil. Take the pan off the heat and add enough ice to bring the temperature down to very cold (at least 40 degrees F). PLace the chicken pieces in the brine and add water to cover well if needed.
Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour, then discard the brine, cover the chicken pieces with plenty of cold water, discard that water, and rinse the pieces once more. Pat dry.
Place chicken pieces in a bowl
with 2 Tbs of oil, toss and dust lightly with fresh ground pepper and sage
(and about a teaspoon of salt ONLY if you did not brine the chicken), toss to distribute the spices and lightly coat the pieces of chicken with the oil.
with indirect heat at 265-275F (or grill on medium fire/heat) for 30 to 40 minutes or until almost half cooked. Heat the sauce to near boiling, then dip the chicken pieces in the sauce to coat
thickly and then place the pieces back on the pit/grill (if grilling bring the fire or heat down to low to keep form burning the sauce).
Cook until done and the sauce has turned sticky, another 30-45 minutes or more depending on the pit and how long it takes to recover from being open long enough to coat the chicken pieces.
If the sauce did not thicken enough during the cooking process you may notice thinner areas and chicken showing through the sauce, re-dip the chicken or carefully brush generously with hot sauce to keep from disturbing the sauce that may have already thickened and started to get sticky.