Submitted as part of the Women of the Grill Recipe Contest

Award Winning County Fair Recipe:  Red Hot Candy Apple Chicken Thighs

Submitted By: Shelly Bevington-Fisher
Location: Hermiston, OR
Recipe Name: My County Fair Recipe:  Red Hot Candy Apple Chicken Thighs
Background and Description: I am a home cook who has been recipe contesting for hobby since August 2008. I placed in my first recipe contest in April 2009. Although, I had placed in several contests I had never been to a cook off and had no grilling experience. My brother had participated in the Foster Farm Big Cluck in the past and asked me to sign up for my local county fair competition with him.I spent the first part of the summer learning to grill chicken thighs for the competition and creating a sauce, we did not turn in our recipes, but were judged on finished chicken.  I practiced on some other dishes and hope to continue self improving my grilling skills. I found out that good barbecue is a lot harder than it looks.


  • 1 c ketsup
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c southwestern mustard (safeway or walmart store brand)
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red hot cayenne sauce
  • 1 c cinnamon applesauce
  • 1 tsp hickory smoke
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla


  • 3 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 c no sugar apple juice
Recipe Instructions:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine all sauce ingredients.
  2. Remove skin from 12 chicken thighs and place in a 10×14 inch baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl combine dark brown sugar, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and sprinkle half the mixture over chicken thighs.
  4. Pour apple juice over chicken, turn chicken over and sprinkle remaining brown sugar mixture over top, flip chicken until coated evenly with marinade.
  5. Cover and let marinade for 1 hour, flipping chicken occasionally, I placed two flat ice packs under pan to keep chilled, may chill in refrigerator.
  6. Arrange charcoal on one side of barbecue and light.  When coals are ready grill chicken with indirect heat covered for 45 minutes or until cooked through, basting with sauce last 20 minutes/10 minutes per side or until sauce is cooked on.
  7. Pull over direct heat 2-3 minutes per side to crisp and give slight char.
  8. Makes 12 chicken thighs with some remaining sauce to reserve for future use, depending on how much sauce you prefer.
Recipe Summary: We competed in his county fair and received 3rd place with his recipe. We competed in my county fair and received 1st place with my recipe and went on to state fair to receive 3rd place.

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