Today I'm bringing you a method of making BBQ chicken that I sort of discovered by accident thanks to my forgetful ways. Now, let me just preface this by saying the best BBQ chicken comes off of an actual grill, charcoal preferably. There's nothing that compares to my hubby's BBQ grilled chicken. The smoky flavor the charcoal gives it puts it over the top.
BUT....if it's winter time and too cold to grill, or your hubby works 12 hour days like mine and doesn't always have the time to grill, this is the 2nd best thing. Like I said, I discovered this by accident one day when I got focused on a project and forgot to start the chicken in the oven when I intended. I cranked the heat up on the oven trying to get it done in time, and voila! A discovery had been made! It was dee-licious!
I decided to start taking pictures after I already started so I don't have the "here's what you'll need" picture, but I'm sure you'll get it all figured out. :)
We prefer chicken thighs (with skin on of course, that's a must!), but I'm sure you could do it with drums or quarters as well.
You're going to start by par-boiling them for about 20 minutes. This releases some of the juices so that you end up with nice crispy skinned chicken. I've tried it without par-boiling, but I was left with a big juicy mess on the pan and the skin was soggy instead of crispy.
You'll also want to get your oven pre-heating to 450 degrees.
You might be thinking that sounds ridiculously high, but trust me on this, it works and it doesn't dry the chicken out at all.
I suggest covering your baking pan with a heavy duty foil just for the sake of making your life a whole lot easier during after dinner clean up. I've used regular foil and just doubled it up, but it somehow doesn't work nearly as well, it always ends up ripping and leaving a burnt on mess. You really should use the heavy duty stuff.
Give it a good coating of non-stick spray so the skin doesn't stick to it and rip off.
Lay them skin side down on your baking sheet and give them a good sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Next, you're going to give them a good thick coating of BBQ sauce. (Our favorite is Sonny's Sweet BBQ Sauce.) Put them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, turn them all over so they are now skin side up.
Give them another good sprinkle of salt and pepper as well as another thick coating of BBQ sauce, and stick them back in for another 10 minutes.
Here's what they'll look like after that 2nd round of 10 minutes. At this point, slather on another layer of sauce and put them back in for another 10 minutes. Part of the secret of the gooey yummy goodness of these is the layered, thick sauce. Some recipes will tell you to add the sauce in the last few minutes of cooking, but I say no way. You want that stuff to soak in and get seared on there for the best possible flavor.
Ok, here they are after a total of 30 minutes in the oven (10 skin side down and 20 skin side up). You might be tempted to call them done at this point, but hang in there for 10 more minutes! Once again, trust me on this! That last 10 minutes will sort of caramelize the sauce and finish them off to perfection.
So go ahead and slather on another layer of sauce and stick them in for one more round of 10 minutes.
And here they are, darkened up and caramelized. The skin should be a good mixture of crispy and gooey.
I peeled back the skin so you can see that, in fact, it is not at all dried out under there. See all that juicy moisture? I think the higher temperature sears the skin and helps hold it in.
Pair it up with some yummy sides like mashed 'taters, and corn on the cob and be ready for your taste buds to experience a little bit of heaven!
(So all in all, your cooking time for these is going to be a little over an hour - 10 minutes or so for the water to come to a boil, 20 minutes of parboiling, and a total of 40 minutes in the oven.)