WKNOFM_HeaderColor-01.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

A Classic for the Fourth

chicken pic.jpg
Justin Fox Burks
/

Fourth of July is this weekend … and that means most of us will be firing up the grill!

Here are my tried-and-true tips and tricks for making finger-lickin’ good barbecue chicken.

First, start with the sauce. You can always take a short-cut and use a bottled barbecue sauce. But know homemade sauces are surprisingly easy to whip up using pantry staples.

When preparing your chicken for the grill, be sure to let the meat stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before putting it on the grates. Taking away the chill will help your chicken cook more evenly and quickly.

For a boost of flavor, an easy trick is to season the chicken with a spicy dry rub instead of just salt and pepper. Brushing the chicken with a little oil before adding the rub will not only help the rub better adhere to the meat but will also help prevent sticking on the grill.

Two-zone grilling is especially helpful for cooking foods like bone-in chicken. Sear the chicken first over direct heat and then move it to an area with no heat to finish cooking by indirect heat. To create an indirect heating zone on your gas grill, simply turn off the burners on one side. For a charcoal grill, place the hot coals only on one side of the grill.

Also, closing the lid is essential when using indirect grilling. A closed lid helps the grill mimic an oven and evenly cook the chicken.

Finally, the key to perfect barbecue chicken is to apply the sauce when the chicken is almost done. This prevents the sauce from burning.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy Fourth of July!

BBQ Chicken

For the Homemade Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For the Barbecue Chicken:

  • Vegetable oil, for grates
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed chicken parts, such as breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and wings
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

To make the barbecue sauce:

In a large saucepan combine the ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, red pepper flakes, onion powder, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Over high heat, bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 20 to 25 minutes. Measure out 1 cup of sauce. Refrigerate the remaining sauce for another time.

To make the chicken:

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

In a small bowl combine the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Brush the chicken with the olive oil. Generously season the chicken with the dry rub.

Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once or twice, until no longer pink in the middle, about 12 to 15 minutes per side. During the final 5 minutes of cooking, baste the chicken with the barbecue sauce. Remove the chicken from grill.

Serves 4.

Tip: You can always use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce and dry rub as a short cut.

Reprinted with permission from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.