What Goes good with Barbecue Chicken?
I can’t believe Fourth of July is almost here. I have so many questions!
WHO can believe a year has passed since the last Fourth of July?
WHAT in the world is happening?
WHEN will time stop flying by?
WHERE in the world are my lawn chair cushions?
WHY do my dogs prefer sleeping on the freshly lain mulch in my garden instead of their dog beds?
HOW am I going to get my house organized by Friday?
Anyway, I’ll be sorting out the answers to those questions in the coming days. Please light a candle for me. But in the meantime, I wanted to share this luscious recipe for BBQ chicken made right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Because you know what? Even though Fourth of July is a big grilling holiday, that doesn’t mean that everyone:
1. Has a grill
2. Is able to grill
3. Knows how to grill
4. Wants to grill
5. Believes in grilling
6. Finds joy in grilling
7. Enjoys sweating, coughing, and singed arm hair.
Friends, this chicken is divine. Just ask my nephew. He was over for the day on Saturday when I whipped up a batch, and he absolutely devoured it. Then, in church yesterday, he leaned forward right after communion and said, “Aunt Ree, I think you should make that barbecue chicken on the Fourth of July.”
If you knew my nephew, who is never particularly enthusiastic about food in general, you’d understand just what a ringing endorsement that really was.
Drizzle some olive oil onto a rimmed sheet pan.
Use your fingers or a brush to coat the surface of the pan. (You’ll need the brush later, so you might as well!)
Grab some chicken thighs and place them skin side down on the pan.
Of course, you can use any kind of chicken you’d like. Legs are delicious, too. But I don’t think there’s anything more delicious than juicy, flavorful chicken thighs, and they’re relatively cheap, especially if you buy them in big family packs. Perfect for a Fourth of July crowd!
Dab them dry with a paper towel…
And stick ’em in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes. I do them skin-side down for the first stage of cooking so the bottom (the non-skin side) of the thighs will have a chance to cook.
Now, while the chicken is cooking for the first stage, make the BBQ sauce. You have several options here: One, you can make your own sauce from scratch using ketchup, brown sugar, white vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, salt…things like that. Two, you can just use a good sauce out of a bottle.
For these, I did both!
Pour some jarred BBQ sauce into a saucepan.
Then grab some peach preserves…
And add it in. This just adds a little extra flavor, sweetness, and glorious stickiness.
Then grate in a couple of cloves of garlic! (You can also just mince it finely and add.)
Now just heat it over medium heat until it’s very hot and the flavors have had a chance to combine.
Then set it aside and wait for the chicken to be done with its first stage of cooking.
The 25 minutes are up! And this chicken, I have to say, looks pretty durn pitiful.
But it won’t be pitiful for long. Brush a generous amount of sauce on each thigh…
Then use a spatula to scoop each one up, being careful not to tear the skin. (This is why I oiled the pan first; keeps the skin from sticking to the pan.)
Flip them over to the other side so the skin side is up.
Brush sauce on the flip side, then return the pan to the oven for 7 more minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, brush on more sauce, then pop it back into the oven for another 7 minutes. Then do it again: pull it out, brush on sauce, and back into the oven.
After another 7 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and brush on more sauce, then crank up the heat to 425 and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes or so…
Until the sauce is starting to darken and you can see a few charred areas here and there.
Will you look at that skin? Wow.
You can let the chicken sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving it, then just throw it on a platter…
And serve it up!
I highly recommend a knife and fork. These babies are messy.
(Pssst. Pasta salad recipe coming next!)
Enjoy these, friends! You can make as much as you need, and it’s a super delicious way to avoid the grill…