Baked barbeque chicken is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to feed a group of people. This is a recipe I've been doing for years and it comes out perfect every time! I like to use chicken thighs because they stay more moist than most cuts.
You can definitely use skinless and/or boneless chicken for baked barbeque chicken, but there's a higher chance of it drying out and it's just not as yummy without all the crispy skin. :D
This recipe takes about an hour to make, but most of it is baking time so you'll have lots of time to make all the sides!
P.S. Sorry for the poopy photos! Next time I make it I'll do it not when it's getting dark and get new ones. ;)
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Step 1: What You'll Need:
- chicken pieces - I love bone in skin on thighs and highly recommend them!
- barbeque sauce (make your own or do it the store bought way)
- salt and pepper
- cooking oil
- a baking tray
- a rack
- aluminum foil (optional but makes clean up so much easier!)
- a pastry brush (I like silicone for these)
- a ramekin or bowl for holding the barbeque sauce
Step 2: Prep the Chicken, Preheat the Oven
Set your oven to 375 F.
If you've bought the standard "sold-in-huge-packs-full-of-nasty-stuff" chicken you'll probably want to clean it up a bit. Pluck out any excess feathers and trim off excess fat and skin - it's especially bad on thighs!
Flip the chicken pieces and have a look at the flesh side. Any big clumps of fat? Five excess inches of skin randomly hanging out? Trim everything up a bit with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Once everything's trimmed up, sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Step 3: Brown the Chicken Skin
This is essential for yummy crispy chicken later on. I've tried making barbeque baked chicken without doing this, and the skin and fat was gummy and not quite set. This step will also help render off some of the excess fat.
Heat a skillet over medium high heat with a tiny bit of oil in it. Once the oil is shimmering, put in the chicken pieces skin side down. Let these cook for a couple minutes until the skin has shrunk a bit and gone a lovely golden brown. Flip over and cook the flesh side for a couple minutes as well.
Now we'll finish them in the oven. :)
Step 4: Baking!
Place the chicken on the rack skin side up. Put this in the 375 F oven for 15 minutes. We do this without sauce at first to crisp the skin a little more and get a little extra fat off before saucing the chicken. Plus, if we put the sauce on now it would burn!
After the first 15 minutes is up, pull out the chicken, brush the skin side with sauce and flip over. Then brush the flesh side with sauce. Be generous! Put back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Pull the chicken back out, brush the flesh side with another coat of sauce, then flip over and coat the skin again. Now we'll put it in for the last 20 minutes! It should be perfect at this point, but if you're nervous feel free to check with a thermometer - it needs to be 165 F.
Keep in mind that boneless cuts of chicken will take less time to cook - breasts could be done in as little as a half hour, so you can sauce them right from the start. :)
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