Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce

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Last summer I made North Carolina-Style pulled pork sandwiches with this apple cider barbecue sauce. I made TONS of sauce and we used the leftovers on grilled chicken thighs for the Fourth of July. They were so great that I made the barbecue sauce just for the Fourth of July chicken thighs this year! 🙂

This recipe is adapted from Martha’s American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation’s Most Treasured Dishes, from Coast to Coast by Martha Stewart. The chicken marinates in the sauce overnight. This recipe makes enough sauce to use on at least two occasions, and it keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Makes 5 cups

  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 cups unsweetened apple cider
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  1. In a small stockpot, bring all the ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids.
  3. Sauce can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks; let cool completely before transferring to airtight containers, and reheat over low before serving.

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