At the backyard barbecue

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Rinse and pat dry chicken. Rub salt and pepper into the chicken. Cover (or tumble into ziptop bags) and chill, 2 hours to 2 days. Let chicken come to room temperature, up to 1 hour, before grilling.

Build (or spark) a medium-hot fire. Clean and lightly oil grates. Set chicken over flame and grill until golden outside and cooked through inside (165 degrees), about 12 minutes per side.

Brush chicken with sauce. Cook just long enough to sear sauce to chicken, about 1 minute per side. Enjoy, with napkins.

Sauce adapted from The New Basics cookbook.

Apricot barbecue sauce:
Combine in the food processor or blender 2 tablespoons each: soy sauce, dry white wine or sherry, finely chopped green onions, chopped garlic, chopped fresh ginger, lemon juice. Add 1/2 cup apricot jam and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Swirl smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan. Boil thick, stirring attentively, about 4 minutes.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at
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