Apple-Glazed Barbecued Chicken

Northern Michigan Recipe: Fred Laughlin from NMC's Great Lakes Culinary School shares an apple-glazed barbecued chicken recipe, perfect for autumn Up North. In 1991, fresh out of culinary school in upstate New York, Fred Laughlin was recruited to launch the fledgling culinary program at Northwestern Michigan College. Laughlin and Traverse City proved a matched pair, and over the course of two decades, the chef has been instrumental in growing the program now known as the Great Lakes Culinary Institute. Along the way, Laughlin has kept a skilled eye to incorporating local ingredients into the school’s curriculum—currently, he says, almost a third of the teaching food is locally produced. Whet your appetite for local foods Great Lakes Culinary Institute–style with one of Laughlin’s favorite seasonal recipes.

Laughlin retired in 2018 after 27 years as the director of Great Lakes Culinary Institute.


  • 18 ounces apple cider
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½  cup American Spoon Foods Farmhouse Tomato Relish
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • Dry Rub (see recipe below)
  • ½ cup Fustini’s Maple Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 – 4 pound Baker's Acres chicken (halved, backbone removed)
Dry Rub
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed


Combine first 6 ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by one-half. Set aside to cool. Place the prepared chicken in a large bowl and add the dry rub ingredients along with the maple balsamic vinegar. Toss the chicken with the rub ingredients and vinegar until evenly coated. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Grill until the chicken is about halfway cooked through (internal temperature about 115 F on an instant-read thermometer). Brush the chicken frequently with the glaze during the remaining cooking time.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski