Get Out Your Mop!

Grilling burgers, steaks, hot dogs, and chicken seems like a rite of summer. And sure, you can slather your favorite BBQ sauce onto that chicken and end up with a great meal. I do that fairly often, myself. But sometimes, it's time to get out my mop:

What's a mop? It's a wet basting sauce that adds flavor and moisture to items while you grill them. And my favorite one for chicken involves marrying maple syrup and mustard and gluing it all together with the freshest, most aromatic red onion you can find. The result is a moist, succulent piece of chicken bursting with flavor and a sauce so amazing that you'll be dipping your chicken in any remaining juices as you eat!

Unlike a marinade, a mop goes onto your food as it's on the grill. If you like the texture that grilling chicken with, say, a dry rub gives you, but wish it could stay a little more juicy, mops are for you. About halfway through the grilling process, when meat tends to dry out a little, you stop that process in its tracks with a sauce that's brimming with flavor. It's really hard to go wrong.

What to serve with a dish like this? Keep it super simple with a tossed salad or a creamy potato salad. Add a bit of elegance with a Mediterranean grilled vegetable salad or your favorite risotto. Or blend it as you wish. Either way, add a tall glass of iced tea, a pint of your favorite beer, or even a glass of chilled white wine and you've got dinner on the table.

Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken

  • 1 chicken, cut into pieces
  • Salt, pepper, or seasoning blend as desired
Mopping Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped

Clean and cut the chicken. Place the pieces in a sturdy container and season as desired. Allow to rest while you prepare a grill and bring it to medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, combine all of the mopping sauce ingredients in a large, resealable jar with a tight-fitting lid. Attach the lid and shake vigorously to combine.

Grill the chicken on the prepared grilling for about 20-30 minutes, turning at least once and basting with the mopping sauce about halfway through the cooking process. Place any remaining sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the grilled chicken in a sturdy serving dish and drizzle the cooked sauce over the top and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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