Dinner Rush! Cherry-Cola BBQ Chicken

The kickoff to summer is just around the corner — finally! It’s almost officially acceptable to start amassing charcoal, propane and sunscreen in hoarderlike quantities without fear of ridicule. Now would also be as good a time as any to plan a menu for the first big cookout of the year.

Enter this six-ingredient cherry-cola barbecue sauce that will knock the socks right out of your sandals. It has all of the spice, sweetness and finger-licking satisfaction that you’d want from a sauce, and it's ready to go in less than 15 minutes. The recipe easily scales up if you’re cooking for a crowd or you just want to have a bit extra on hand, should a craving strike.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone, and get yourself ready for a whole season of fun in the sun with Cooking Channel’s best grilling recipes.

Cherry-Cola BBQ Chicken
Total Time: 25 min
Prep: 3 min
Cook: 22 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup cherry preserves
1/3 cup cherry cola
Salt and ground black pepper
2 pounds chicken drumsticks
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

Preheat grill to medium-high. Grease grates with a paper towel soaked with a small amount of vegetable oil.

Place a small pot over medium heat with butter. Cook shallot and garlic until aromatic, 1 minute. Add chili sauce, cherry preserves and cola; season with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce until thickened, about 10 minutes.

When sauce is ready, toss chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, oil, salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until almost cooked through, 8 minutes.

Brush prepared sauce over chicken and continue cooking until thickened, 2 minutes. Serve chicken with remaining sauce.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Twitter & Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.

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