When it comes to barbecued chicken, everyone wants that nice thick glaze of sauce attached to the skin, and the only way to do it, is brush it on as it cooks. Therein lies the problem. Because of the sugar content, it only takes a minute for a barbecue sauce to go from brick-red to solid black. I just 'mark' the chicken's vulnerable skin side, then cook it all the way through in a closed grill, brushing on the glaze as it cooks.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
40 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
2 hrs
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cut 1/2-inch deep slashes in the skin-side of each chicken half; 2 cuts in each breast, 2 in the thigh, and 1 on the leg; remove wing tips.

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  • Whisk rice vinegar, barbeque sauce, and garlic together in large bowl. Place chicken in bowl and turn to coat chicken in the marinade. Arrange chicken halves, cut-side down, in the bottom of the marinade bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  • Remove chicken from bowl, pat chicken dry with paper towels, and discard marinade. Place chicken halves, skin-side up, on a plate and season with salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

  • Cook chicken, skin-side down, on the preheated grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn chicken over, close the lid of the grill, and cook, basting with remaining barbeque sauce ever 6 minutes, until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Nutrition Facts

464 calories; protein 47.5g 95% DV; carbohydrates 10.6g 3% DV; fat 24.2g 37% DV; cholesterol 149.4mg 50% DV; sodium 1583.1mg 63% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (107)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/05/2015
This turned out great! Only thing I changed was reduced the cayenne pepper by 1/2, and used all drumsticks. I am not comfortable grilling drumsticks, so I baked mine at 425 degrees, seasoned, for 20 minutes. Brushed a thick layer of bbq sauce, then continued baking 25 minutes. Chicken turned out with crispy skin even under the barbecue sauce. The chicken was very tender--loved it! Served alongside leftover "Summer Tomato Pie". Read More
(41)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
07/12/2017
This was one of the least imaginative dishes I've ever created. I served it with creamy polenta and steamed broccoli. I think I'll pitch the leftovers today. I can't even look at it. (And it wasn't cheap) Read More
(3)
148 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 112
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
10/04/2015
This turned out great! Only thing I changed was reduced the cayenne pepper by 1/2, and used all drumsticks. I am not comfortable grilling drumsticks, so I baked mine at 425 degrees, seasoned, for 20 minutes. Brushed a thick layer of bbq sauce, then continued baking 25 minutes. Chicken turned out with crispy skin even under the barbecue sauce. The chicken was very tender--loved it! Served alongside leftover "Summer Tomato Pie". Read More
(41)
Rating: 5 stars
05/27/2014
Rack up another hit for Chef John! We woke up Memorial Day morning, looking for a simple grilled bbq chicken recipe..... This Is It! Super-Simple and Tasty. A Big Hit at our celebration. This recipe has definitely earned a spot in the regular rotation. Thanks, Chef John! Read More
(32)
Rating: 4 stars
07/05/2015
The chicken was good, but preparing it with the marinade is more complicated than necessary. Not sure the marinade contributed much, but if you are concerned about burning the barbecue sauce the tip to baste the chicken with it periodically is a good one. Read More
(23)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/15/2015
Best BBQ chicken ever! Even my daughter who says she dislikes BBQ chicken has asked for this several times since I first made it. Followed the recipe exactly but found the cooking time needed to be cut in half on a medium high grill to produce perfect juicy chicken. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
02/02/2015
I made this as directed, except I didn't have any rice vinegar so I used the red wine vinegar that I had. I took longer than 35 minutes, but it was the juiciest grilled chicken I've ever made! I will make this again and again. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
06/03/2016
Really liked this and will use it again. Did it per the recipe and video other than I used leg and thigh quarters. My only adjustment is I will make is to cook the skin side down longer and at a slightly lower temp. I didnt cook it long enough and then my fire was so hot that the bottom no-skin side burnt even with no barbecue sauce applied. The part eaten was delicious and moist and a different flavor that I attribute to the vinegar. Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/29/2015
I mixed the spices into the marinade. Turned out delicious. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
07/30/2015
I saw this recipe in the magazine and made it one night on a whim when we lost power for a week after a big storm. I used chicken quarters with the skin removed and prepared it as described using sweet baby rays BBQ sauce. It was amazing! Quick easy to prepared and flavorful. I've made this 6 times since that storm and family raves about it. Thank you chef John! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
04/02/2017
This was the best BBQ chicken recipe I have ever had. My son who is not a big chicken fan raved about it and asked for seconds. Read More
(9)
Rating: 1 stars
07/12/2017
This was one of the least imaginative dishes I've ever created. I served it with creamy polenta and steamed broccoli. I think I'll pitch the leftovers today. I can't even look at it. (And it wasn't cheap) Read More
(3)