Friday, July 15, 2011

Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue chicken can be really good if it's cooked properly and I think I found a way to do just that. This method of cooking bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts on the grill can also be adapted to many other preparations so you may see a repeat appearance on the blog before summer is over. The cooking time is a bit long but the prep is short and it's a really low maintenance recipe. I got this one from Use Real Butter and I think it's a winner. I did make the sauce in the recipe but I cheated and used some I had leftover and frozen so I don't have any pics of that. I highly recommend the sauce if you have time. Otherwise, Cattleman's is my favorite bottled sauce. As for the rub, I had pre-made that too. I use the one from Joy of Cooking but the one in the recipe is probably just as good if not better than that. The chicken breasts I used were huge so we had plenty of leftovers. To freeze, I pulled the chicken off the bone, shredding it and stored in a ziploc.

Time: 1 1/2 hours plus 2 hours (or overnight) marinating
Serves: 2, with leftovers

  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 TBSP BBQ Rub - recipe below
  • 2 cups BBQ Sauce - recipe below

All-purpose BBQ rub
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated garlic
  • 6 TBSP granulated onion
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

BBQ Sauce (aka Mutha Sauce)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion (baseball size)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 28 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup or chili sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce, like Tabasco or Louisiana
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp allspice


  1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl and rub them together with your hands. Store in plastic or glass container until ready for use. Makes 2 3/4 cups, which is way more than you need for this recipe. Store it in a ziploc bag in your spice cabinet and use it the next time you make BBQ.
BBQ Sauce
  1. Peel and finely chop your onion and garlic cloves.
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  3. Add your onions and garlic and season them with salt and pepper - about 2 tsp of each.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. 
  5. Reduce to a low bubble for ten minutes, then let the sauce cool. This makes a ridiculous amount of sauce – something like 10-12 cups. 
  1. Mix the oil and the BBQ rub together in a bowl and massage it into the chicken pieces so they're covered with the rub. I actually just used the rub dry at first and ended up brushing the chicken with oil when I went to flip it. Probably better to add the oil first!
  2. Cover and refrigerate the chicken until you are ready to grill it. I left it for 2-3 hours but overnight is great too.


  1. About 1 1/2 hours before you want to eat, heat your grill to medium, leaving one area with no heat under it and close your lid. On our 3-burner gas grill, I turned both of the side burners to medium and left the middle one off. The key to cooking the chicken through before you burn the outside is to cook it over indirect heat - that's what we're going for here.
  2. After about 20 minutes, check your grill - you want it to be 325°-350°. Once it's there, put your chicken on the area with no heat underneath, with the skin-side facing up. I don't have a pic of this but the skin side is the side you see on top in the raw chicken pic above.
  3. Close your grill lid, walk inside and set a timer for 30 minutes. You may want to check the temp halfway through and turn down your burners if needed.
  4. After 30 minutes, go outside and flip your chicken over, leaving it on the area with no direct heat underneath.
  5. Close the lid again, walk inside and set a timer for 20 minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes, take about 1/2 cup of your BBQ sauce outside in a small bowl with a brush to apply it. If you have a thermometer, you may want to check to make sure the chicken is at 160°-165°.
  7. Brush both sides of the chicken so it's fully coated in sauce and flip it back over so the skin is on top again.
  8. Close your lid again, walk inside and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  9. Bring your chicken inside, wrapped in foil to keep warm and rest it for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve with extra BBQ sauce.

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