OK, before you dismiss the recipe below, saying to yourself, “How tough can it be to make barbecued chicken in the oven?” you have to know this recipe isn’t about a list of ingredients, but rather technique.
I have tried making barbecued chicken in the oven many times before, and each time it comes out all right, but not special. Sometimes, the chicken is dry, sometimes it’s not quite done around the bone and sometimes the sauce burns. Never once have I prepared it where my family says, “Oh, wow, you’ve got to make this again.”
And then I came across a recipe on a food blog called kittencalskitchen.com. Kittencal said it was such a simple recipe, she almost decided not to post it. But all the reviewers who tried the recipe said the method for cooking the chicken was the key, especially cooking the chicken on the lowest rack and cooking it “plain” for 45 minutes before adding the sauce.
This is now my go-to recipe for oven-baked barbecued chicken. It just makes the whole house smell good and the chicken was moist and tender. Next time, I will pull the skin off the breasts before seasoning and saucing, because I don’t eat the skin, so I lost some of the flavor that my dark-meat-skin-eating men enjoyed.
I served this with baked beans and steamed broccoli.
Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken
1 (3-pound) whole chicken, cut in pieces
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Ground black pepper (optional)
2 cups prepared barbecue sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set oven rack to bottom position.
Line a jelly-roll pan with foil. (If you have a rack that fits in the jelly-roll pan, use it, but if you don’t, then just place the chicken in the pan.)
Pat chicken dry using paper towels, then place skin-side down on the jelly-roll pan. Season chicken with seasoned salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Turn skin-side up and season again. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and carefully drain all fat from the pan. Pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken turning the pieces over to coat with the sauce, and ending with chicken skin-side up Return chicken to oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.