A few weeks ago I was in Birch Tree checking out the Annual Logger’s Festival , where I ran into a friend who introduced me to Mr. Ray Ward, who is the man behind the increasingly popular Ray Ray’s Original Ozark BBQ sauce. I had never tried it before, although I have seen it in many of the local supermarkets along with his dry rub.
To make a long story short, we talked for a while, and he gave me a bottle of his sauce. I finally got around to trying it, which I used here, in a simple pulled bbq chicken, which I paired with a vegetable rice pilaf with roasted chestnuts my family received from a friend at church who harvested them from the trees in their yard!
It is so amazing having these local and seasonal ingredients available and being able to work with them.
While there isn’t much of a recipe, per say, for the bbq chicken (this is more a review on Ray Ray’s bbq sauce), I will give you the quick one for the chestnut rice.
Roasted Chestnut Rice
1 tbsp oil
1/4 c diced onion
1/3 c diced celery
1/4 c roasted chestnuts, shelled and roughly chopped.
1/2 c white or brown rice
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 t salt or 1 vegetable or chicken bullion cube
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a medium pan, sweat onion and celery for a few minutes, then add chestnuts and saute 1 minute.
Add rice and toss to coat. Dissolve bullion cube (if using) in water, and add to pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 18-20 minutes for white rice, or 45-55 minutes for brown rice.
Remove from heat, let sit 5 minutes, fluff with a fork before serving piping hot!
I am very grateful to Mr. Ward for his kindness and after I am happy to give my “Chef Approved” stamp of approval. ^_^ I found the Ray Ray’s BBQ Sauce truly amazing and delicious, with a intricate depth of flavor seldom found in other barbeque sauces. His sauce has renewed my faith in bottled bbq sauces, which in my experience are usually full of sugar and or salt, and lack any real flavor.
I hope you try the delicious BBQ sauce if it is available in your area, and if not, I certainly encourage you to ask for it at your supermarket.
This is what Mr. Ward says on his website:
“When we created Ray Ray’s original Ozark sauce, we set out to have a sauce that put a signature taste on our barbeque. With the rich taste of sweet molasses blended with an assortment of fresh spices, our original Ozark sauce will not only bring out the very best in your next barbecue, it’s an all purpose sauce that tastes GREAT on just about anything.”
The Ray Ray’s website is www.rayraysbbq.com.