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Chicken with Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Course: Main Course
Total Time: Under 2 Hours
Skill Level: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
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Chicken with Barbecue Sauce

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

My sister-in-law Ginny Nathan is probably the most reliable cook I know. She has been following recipes since before I met her thirty-some years ago and always tries new dishes on company. Like many of us, she started exclusively with Gourmet (she keeps all the back issues in her basement) and then branched off to Bon Appétit and occasionally Eating Well. She will frequently change ingredients, as in this dish, made at Ginny’s home once a week. This recipe came from her mother, who was also a great cook, but Ginny has added some cayenne pepper and chili powder to it. Her daughter-in-law Jessica added even more heat to the recipe. This is one of those recipes we all need because it is so quick and delicious.

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 whole chicken breasts, halved, or 4 drumsticks and 4 thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra- virgin olive oil
  • ¼ medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • Hot sauce to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and arrange in a baking pan with a little space in between. Cook for about an hour or until the chicken is crisp and any water that may accumulate on the bottom has evaporated.

While the chicken is cooking, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and sprinkle on the diced onion. Stir-fry until the onion is golden. Add the cider vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, chili powder, cayenne pepper, water, and hot sauce to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes, until slightly thickened.

When the chicken is cooked, drain any fat. Spoon the barbecue sauce on the chicken. Either finish the chicken under the broiler or finish on the grill until the sauce has slightly blackened and becomes caramelized on the chicken. Serve any extra sauce on the side.

© 2005 Joan Nathan

Editor's Note

Nutritional information is based on using 2 whole chicken breasts halved. Nutritional information includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt, but does not include hot sauce to taste.


Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

561kcal (28%)
774mg (32%)
28g (43%)
8g (40%)
186mg (62%)
91mcg RAE (3%)
9mg (15%)
48mg (5%)
3mg (14%)

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