Barbecued Chicken

I can eat  barbecued chicken all year long, but my favorite time to eat it is in the summer when I don’t feel like eating a hot meal. Since this chicken is equally tasty served hot out of the oven or out of the fridge, I like to make extra for leftovers. And yes, I call it barbecued chicken but my recipe cooks in the oven while I stay inside in the air conditioned kitchen.  I find it easier my way, but feel free to cook yours on a grill if you prefer.

My family prefers dark meat (drumsticks and thighs) over white meat (the breast), but you can use whatever you prefer or a combination of the two.

 Caution: Whenever you’re handling raw poultry, you need to be sure that you thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, and countertops before touching other foods to prevent cross-contamination. I have a designated cutting board that I use only for poultry just to really play it safe!  Chicken thighs have a lot of extra fat and skin, so if you’re not sure how to remove those “extras,” look at “How to Trim a Chicken Thigh.”


Serves 4-6

  • 8 chicken pieces — thighs, drumsticks, breasts, about 4 – 4/12 lbs.
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

1.Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2.Line a rimmed baking sheet with either aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

3.Rinse the chicken and trim the excess fat and skin (drumsticks don’t have any). Pat dry.

4.Mix the salt, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and smoked paprika in a shallow dish.

5.Place the chicken skin-side down on the baking sheet. Generously sprinkle the mix over each piece of chicken and rub it in with your fingers. Flip the chicken to skin-side up and gently pull back the skin without removing it from the chicken. You want to be able to season the flesh underneath the skin so the seasoning doesn’t just sit on the outside of the chicken.

6.Push the skin back over the chicken and sprinkle the remainder of the rub on the skin.

7.Brush a layer of the barbecue sauce over both sides of the chicken.

8.Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

9.Remove the chicken from the oven and brush another layer of the barbecue sauce over the tops of each piece. Return to the oven.

10.Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and give the chicken a final brush of the barbecue sauce. Return it to the oven for 10 minutes.

11.Remove the chicken from the oven and check to see if the chicken is done by inserting a fork into each piece to see if it’s tender. The fork should meet no resistance. Sometimes it’s recommended to see if the juices run clear, but with barbecue chicken, that might be tough to do! The chicken should be pretty burnished by now, but if you want a deeper color and crispier skin, you can run it under the broiler for a minute or two. Just make sure if you’re using parchment paper that it doesn’t catch on fire!


12.The first picture above shows just drumsticks and thighs after a run through the broiler. The bottom photo features just chicken breasts straight from the oven without the broiler. Both equally delicious!

Grocery Bag: Barbecued Chicken