I was looking through my recipe archives and realized I had not posted a recipe for a classic…. American BBQ Chicken. I am not sure how this happened, but I am fixing this, right now. This is not your mother’s BBQ chicken… this triple flavored BBQ chicken recipe is going to change your BBQ chicken for life! I am calling it Triple BBQ Chicken because it is infused with flavor 3 different ways. Even if you only use 2 of these 3 steps, you are going to be ahead of the game. This is how its going down….
- Marinate the chicken in a cilantro orange marinade to infuse flavor deep into the chicken
- Rub the chicken with an awesome balanced BBQ rub prior to grilling
- Grill and Glaze the chicken with a sweet heat BBQ sauce at the end of grilling to add one more layer of flavor
Step 1: Cilantro Orange Chicken Marinade
To ensure this is the best BBQ chicken you have ever had, we are going to marinate the chicken for hours in this awesome spicy smokey citrusy marinade. Today I am using quicken quarters. I love using chicken quarters because I feel like they retain more juiciness than legs and thighs by themselves. Feel free to use your favorite cuts of bone-in chicken. This marinade is good for about 4 lbs of chicken. Double the recipe if needed.
- 1 Light Beer
- 1 Cup Rice Vinegar
- 2.5 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Serrano Pepper (2 if you like it extra spicy)
- 1/2 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro
- 1 Cup Water
- Juice of 2 Oranges
- Juice of 1 Lime
Combine all ingredients and blend in a food processor, blender, or using a hand blender. I use this hand blender a lot for recipes like this. It fits inside a wide mouth mason jar, so you can blend marinades and then store them easily if needed.
Add the chicken to large gallon sized ziploc bags with the marinade and marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably for 6 hrs or more. Overnight should work fine too.
Step 2: Salty Sweet BBQ Chicken Rub
Now that you have marinated your BBQ Chicken for hours, it is time to add the next layer of flavor with a salty sweet BBQ rub that is good on about everything…. including this chicken recipe. If you are a regular at Seared & Smoked, then you have probably used this recipe before. I call it my Good Lov’n Rub… cause its good on everything. Make a jar of this and use it on any chicken or pork recipe.
- 12 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Seasoned Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Celery Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Pepper Mix
- 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
- 4 Tablespoons Paprika
- 2 Tablespoons Ancho Chile
- 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 2 tsp Thyme
- 2 tsp Rosemary
- 2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tsp Mustard Powder
Mix everything together. Take the chicken out of the marinade and give it a quick rinse under cold water. Then pat the chicken dry. After the chicken is nice and dry, coat the chicken with a nice even coating of the BBQ Rub. If you have time, place the chicken on a pan uncovered in the fridge for 2 hours. This helps promote crispy chicken skin. If you don’t have time, don’t worry about.
Step 3: Grilling BBQ Chicken and BBQ Glaze
My favorite way to make any bone-in chicken is to grill it over indirect heat for about 1 hour at 350 F, then finish the chicken over medium to high heat to char the chicken. This BBQ chicken is no different. I am going to use the Webber Kettle to cook the chicken at 350 F, then finish it off on my Weber Genesis to char the chicken with the BBQ Sauce.
To setup the weber, pile up lump charcoal on one side and start about one pound of charcoal in a chimney starter. My favorite fire starter for chimney starters is the tumbleweed fire starter. Start the charcoal and place that on top of your lump charcoal evenly. Then add a foil drip pan below and put the grate back in place.
After the grate is back in place, put the lid back on and open the top. Open the top vent half way and the bottom vent 1/2 way for 15 minutes then close the bottom to 1/4 open. Then let it heat up for another 15 minutes or longer. Shoot for 350-400 degrees F. Open both vents slightly to increase temperature or close both to decrease temperature.
Before we finish grilling, we need a tasty BBQ sauce for our chicken. Pick out your favorite sweet sauce or make my favorite homemade BBQ Sauce. You will love this, and it only takes about 1 hour to make.
Sweet Heat BBQ Chicken Sauce
Great for all BBQ occasions. I would call this a Kansas City BBQ sauce, with its signature sweetness. I love this all cuts of Pork and Chicken. Great on pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, and as a finishing sauce on BBQ chicken.
- ¼ Sick Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion
- ½ Green Bell Pepper
- ½ Red Bell Pepper
- 2 Jalapenos (seeded if you like less heat)
- 2 teaspoons Celery Salt
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Cup Bourbon
- 4 Tablespoons Ancho Chile Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1.5 tspn White Pepper
- 1 tspn Ground Turmeric
- ½ tspn Ground Chinese Five Spice
- 2 tspn Mustard Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Worcheshire Sauce
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 – 15 oz can of Tomato Sauce
- 1 – 12 oz jar of cherry preserves
- 1 – Cup of Honey
- 6 oz of Molasses (1/2 can of small jar)
- 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- Melt butter with olive oil in a large sauce pan.
- Chop up the veggies and add to the pan
- Add the celery salt and saute for 10 min
- Add the bourbon and simmer for 10-15 min until liquid has reduced
- Add the dry ingredient list and stir into mixture
- Add the water and other wet ingredients and stir together.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to a lower temperature to simmer and stir every 5-10 minutes.
- Simmer for a total of 45 minutes. Blend the sauce mixture with a hand blender and then simmer more if needed to thicken. Keep in mind it will thicken up as it cools off.
- Bottle or can and enjoy for several months stored in the fridge
Back to Grilling the BBQ Chicken
Ok, so now that you have your sauce, grill your chicken over indirect heat for about 1 hour. Start with the skin side down for the first 30 minutes, then flip and finish with the skin side up.
How do you know when the BBQ Chicken is done?
I monitor the skin color and texture when it is grilling over the indirect heat. When it starts to turn golden brown or a little darker and it feels a little crispy to the touch, it is probably time to finish over high heat and glaze with BBQ Sauce. Check the internal temperature of the chicken if you are not sure. If the BBQ chicken is above 155 F and the skin is getting crispy, then you are ready to finish over high heat.
Glaze the Chicken
When finishing over high heat, glaze the chicken and turn the chicken every 1-2 minutes. You want to char the chicken, but not burn the hell out of it! This really depends on how hot your grill is. That is why I find using a gas grill to finish the chicken much easier than over charcoal. You can definitely do this over charcoal, you just have to keep the chicken moving faster, flipping more often.
Glaze and flip the chicken for a total of 6-10 minutes and you are ready to eat! I hope you enjoy this recipe…. I think it has the most amazing flavor with the tree steps to ensure flavor is packed into every bite!
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