Texas-Style Barbecued Chicken

Texas-Style Barbecued Chicken

Quick look

  • prep 1 hr    cook 1 hr
  • serves 4

Enjoy delicious barbecued chicken with these recipes for Texas, Tar-Heel, and Jamaican styles.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons zest, 4 1/2 teaspoons juice)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
  • 1 boiler-fryer (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), quartered

    How to make it  2 hours

  • 1

    In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, heat oil 1 minute. Add onion and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft — about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.

  • 2

    Add ketchup, bourbon, broth, molasses, vinegar, mustard, lemon zest and juice, and hot red pepper sauce and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes; set aside or cool, store in a container with a tight-fitting lid, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

  • 3

    Gently pull the skin back from the chicken to expose the flesh but do not tear or remove it. Place in a large self-sealing plastic bag, add half the sauce, seal, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Refrigerate remaining sauce until ready to use.

  • 4

    Preheat the grill or broiler. Remove chicken from bag, reserving sauce. Smooth chicken skin back into place and arrange chicken, skin side down, 5 inches above a drip pan over glowing coals. Cover the grill, leaving the vents halfway open (or adjusting for the wind and outdoor temperature). Cook chicken, turning once, until both sides are browned — 15 to 20 minutes. Brush chicken generously with sauce and continue grilling and basting, turning once, until the meat near the thigh bone is no longer pink when cut — 25 to 30 minutes more. Note: To broil in the oven, place chicken, skin side down, 7 to 9 inches from the heat and broil 5 minutes more. Turn chicken and continue broiling and basting about 15 minutes more.

  • 5

    Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, heat the refrigerated sauce from Step 3 until hot and bubbly. Serve as a dipping sauce with the barbecued chicken.

Nutritional Information(per serving)

  • Calories: 746
  • Fat: 29g
  • Saturated Fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 141mg
  • Sodium: 929mg
  • Carbs: 52g
  • Protein: 44g
  • Fiber: 2g

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Prepare as directed above, but use the following sauce: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons each white wine vinegar, lime juice, and grated fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon each hot red pepper sauce, salt, and ground allspice, and 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Use sauce to marinate and baste the chicken. Makes 4 servings.

Tar-Heel Barbecued Chicken
Prepare as directed above, but use the following sauce: 6 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons each vegetable oil and firmly packed light brown sugar, 2 minced cloves garlic, and 1 teaspoon each red hot pepper sauce and salt. Let sauce stand at room temperature for several hours before using to marinate the chicken. Makes 4 servings.

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