Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oven BBQ Chicken

I don't think that I'd ever had oven barbecued chicken before now. On the grill, yes. I have two favorite barbecued chicken on the grill recipes. But with the rain and cold that October brings, I decided to play it safe and try my hand at barbecued chicken in the oven. If helped that the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens featured a delicious-looking recipe courtesy of Chef Scott Peacock. What impressed me about the finished product was that it really was falling off the bone tender (especially the dark meat pieces) and the sauce was really tasty with just the right balance of sweetness, vinegar, and spice.

You can make the sauce ahead and save yourself preparation time when you're ready to bake the chicken. To make the sauce, melt a stick of butter in a saucepan. Add in onion, garlic, and salt and saute until tender.

Now for the spice line up: crushed red pepper, paprika, chili powder, and freshly ground black pepper.

Stir in the spices. According to Chef Scott Peacock, "Begin building depth by stirring the spices into the onion and lightly cooking. This step is key to developing their aroma and flavor."

Now for the remainder of the sauce ingredients: water, cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, and tomato paste. Apparently I used up all of my molasses last Christmas in gingerbread cookies and never had cause to replace it. I substituted dark Karo syrup. However, in this BHG article Chef Peacock states, "Much of the sauce's character comes from molasses, which gives a subtle yet distinctive flavor." So maybe next time I'm try it with molasses.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Note: this recipe makes more than enough sauce for the chicken. I still have about a pint stored in my fridge for future use.

Now for the chicken. This recipe calls for two 3-1/2 lb. chickens. Rinse, remove the giblets, and...

cut that chicken up. Salt and pepper the pieces.

In a skillet with 1/4 inch of hot oil, brown the chicken pieces for about 5 minutes, turning once.

Place the breasts in one baking dish and the legs and thighs in another. Breasts only need to bake for 30 minutes, while the leg portions need 70-75 minutes.

Spoon 1-1/2 cups of sauce over the chicken, then cover with parchment paper and foil. You can put them directly into the oven from here or refrigerate until you're ready to bake.

Bake the covered chicken at 325 degrees for 30 minutes for breast portions, 70 minutes for leg portions. Then increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Uncover the chicken and spoon on some additional sauce. Bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until the chicken is well-glazed.

Fallin' off the bone and finger lickin' good!

Classic BBQ Chicken from Better Homes and Gardens

Prep: 1hr.
Bake: 1 hr. 20 min.

2 3-1/2-lb. whole chickens
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cold water
1-1/4 cups cider vinegar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup tomato paste
Peanut oil


1. Cut up chicken, leaving drumsticks and thighs attached. Season chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use (up to 24 hours).

2. For sauce: In large nonreactive saucepan, melt butter. Add onion, garlic, and salt. Cook over low heat until onion is tender. Add crushed red pepper, paprika, chili powder, and black pepper; cook and stir for 1 minute.

3. Add water, vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a simmer. Stir in molasses. Whisk in tomato paste until smooth. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt if needed. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the sauce to prepare chicken. Store remaining in the refrigerator; reheat to serve.

4. For chicken: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat 1/4 inch oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, place chicken, skin side down, in skillet. Cook until well browned, turning once, about 5 minutes.

5. Transfer browned chicken to two 2- to 3-quart rectangular glass or nonreactive baking dishes. Place skin side up, adding breast portions to one dish and leg portions to the other. Add 2 tablespoons water to each baking dish.

6. Spoon reserved 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce over chicken.* Cover chicken with parchment paper and then cover tightly with foil. (Refrigerate until ready to bake). Bake leg portions for 70 to 75 minutes and breast portions for 30 to 40 minutes (170 degrees F).

7. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Uncover chicken and spoon on additional sauce. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until well-glazed and meat is very tender. Serve with remaining barbecue sauce. Store any remaining barbecue sauce, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 12 servings.

*Be sure that the sauce used on the uncooked chicken is kept separate from sauce for serving.

Nutrition Facts
Total Fat (g) 40, Saturated Fat (g) 14, Cholesterol (mg) 158, Sodium (mg) 1381, Carbohydrate (g) 31, Fiber (g) 2, Protein (g) 34, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet


Chicago Mom said...

That looks SOOO good! I have never made bbq sauce before, but if it has a whole stick of butter in it it has to be good!

Heather S-G said...

OH! Saucey and delicious...finger lickin' for sure! And you know, I didn't know that CoCo Wheats were made in Warsaw! Very cool :D

Katy ~ said...

Girlichef has nailed it - Saucey and delicious. Oh my, this looks so finger lickin' good. What does Paula Deen say, Your tongue will slap your face! Yep, that's what I'd be doing. This looks terrific!

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

I love bbq chicken this way the best for that very reason - that fall off the bone tenderness, so good! Your's looks perfect!!

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