Harlem Sauce

Michael Mc


This is an excellent marinade and basting sauce for chicken, either on the grill or baked in the oven. I have perfected this over the years since I first happened upon a slightly different recipe from the US South - versions of the same are popular in the New York area, hence the name "Harlem Sauce". It's good soul food! I'd love to know what you think of my version.


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  • 1/4 c
    unsalted margarine (half-stick)
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp
    tomato sauce
  • 4 Tbsp
    lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp
    white vinegar
  • 2 tsp
    yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp
    hot sauce
  • 1 tsp
    cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp
    minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
    dried parsley
  • 1 tsp
    onion powder
  • 1/2 c

How to Make Harlem Sauce


  1. In a medium sauce pot, gently melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add ketchup, tomato sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and hot sauce - stir or whisk to combine.
  3. Add cayenne powder, garlic, parsley, onion powder, and water - stir or whisk to combine.
  4. Raise heat to Medium-High and cook until boiling. Boil for about a minute or two.
  5. Turn down heat to Medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Take sauce pot off heat and let cool for 1 hour.
  7. Use as a marinade for 6-8 boneless chicken breasts. Poke chicken all over with a fork, and marinate in a large, resealable plastic bag or container for 4-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  8. Grill for 10-12 minutes each side, or bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes after cooking. (Double cooking time if using bone-in chicken).
  9. Important! --> Boil remaining marinade for 5 minutes, if extra sauce is desired - brush on while grilling.

Printable Recipe Card

About Harlem Sauce

Course/Dish: Chicken
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: American

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