Although barbecue has been an integral part of southern cuisine for hundreds of years, it is by no means an American creation. Many countries around the world have their own style of barbecue that bears little resemblance to the traditional barbecue that takes place in our backyards. The increasingly health-conscious American public often replaces ribs and brisket with chicken to satisfy that barbecue craving, and looks to recipes from around the world.
South Carolina Style
If you choose to cook your chicken in the South Carolina style of barbecue, you will still have decisions to make. South Carolina is the only state in the country with four distinct regional barbecue influences, according to the South Carolina Barbecue Association. Most of the folks along the coast prefer a vinegar-based sauce, while the midlands region prefers it mustard-based. The western, northwestern and northeastern regions are split between a tomato-based and light tomato-based barbecue sauce. The tomato-based sauce is thick and heavy, similar to the bottled barbecue sauces available at your local grocery store, while the light tomato-based has a vinegar and pepper base with a touch of tomato paste or ketchup.
All the sauces use some type of vinegar, brown sugar, tomato ketchup or puree, salt and pepper. Add yellow mustard, beer, Worcestershire and garlic for a mustard-based sauce, or dry mustard, Worcestershire, onion, cornstarch and a variety of spices for a tomato-based sauce. Use bone-in chicken and serve it whole or pulled and tossed with additional sauce before serving on a bun.
Korean Barbecue Chicken
Gogi gui, or Korean barbecue, is a style of barbecue where the food is cooked tableside. Dahk galbi, not to be confused with the stir-fried chicken dish dak galbi, is marinated, grilled chicken. The marinade, or galbi, contains soy sauce, garlic sugar and sliced onion, although some recipes include a variety of other seasoning like tamari or sriracha sauce or fresh ginger. Dahk gui is unmarinated chicken grilled in the Korean style. Although you can use a gas grill to cook the chicken, charcoal is preferred. For an authentic meal, use boneless chicken and serve it with lettuce leaves for wrapping, kimchi, sliced carrots and steamed rice.
Barbecue Chicken Brazilian Style
Gauchos in Brazil are known for their barbecue, called churrasco, that involves slow cooking meats on skewers over hot coals or a wood fire. Although little seasoning is used, the food is flavorful. Chicken is one of the meats commonly served at a Brazilian barbecue. Marinate it overnight in a mixture of garlic, sea salt and lime juice or olive oil, and then cook the chicken on a charcoal or gas grill over indirect heat for at least one hour, basting occasionally. Serve the chicken with an assortment of salads like potato salad with carrots, onion salad or tomato salad with hearts of palm.