Mesquite-Grilled Chicken Quarters

Extra care should be taken when grilling foods over mesquite charcoal since it burns hotter (and cooks food faster) than other types of charcoal. Let it burn until it is covered with gray ash before putting the chicken on the grill.


Makes 8 servings


2 whole chickens (about 3-1/2 pounds each), cut into quarters
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (12 ounces) beer
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chickens in 1 large or 2 medium baking pans; cover tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven; uncover. Cool. Heat oil in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients; whisk until well blended. Pour into saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly and is reduced to about 2 cups. Let cool.
  2. Place chickens into 2 large self-sealing plastic food storage bags. Dividing marinade equally, pour over chicken in each bag; seal bags. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat charcoal grill and grease grill rack. Remove chickens from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Remove chickens from marinade and drain well; reserve marinade. Place marinade in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 2 minutes; remove from heat and cool. Hook wing tips back behind body joint on breast pieces of chicken. Place leg and thigh quarters on hottest part of grill 4 to 6 inches above solid bed of coals (coals should be evenly covered with gray ashes); place breast pieces on cooler edges of grill. Cook, turning occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until meat near thigh bone is no longer pink when slashed. Brush chicken generously with marinade during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

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