BBQ Chicken

South Side Chicago is known for its BBQ joints. This dish captures the essence of visiting the popular Midwest area with tender juicy chicken coated in a homemade sweet and spicy sauce. Serve the chicken with a side of potato bread, pickles, a cold glass of Gold Peak tea, and a lot of napkins! The BBQ sauce can be made a week ahead of time and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

bbq chicken

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 6 Servings


2-4 lbs chicken pieces, skin-on bone-in legs, skinless boneless thighs

3/4 cup ketchup

2/3 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


  • Add all BBQ sauce ingredients to a large saucepan and whisk together until combined. Simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to reach room temperature.
  • In a large plastic bag with closure, add chicken and 1/3 of BBQ sauce and mix well. Set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.
  • Prepare the grill with high heat. Sear the chicken pieces 5-10 minutes each side with the grill open. Reduce heat to medium high and close lid for 20-30 minutes, slathering the chicken with another 1/3 BBQ sauce and turning pieces so they cook evenly. Slather with sauce and turn so you get a nice char on the chicken. Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 170ºF for thighs.
  • Serve chicken with the additional 1/3 BBQ sauce, slices of white or potato bread, and pickles.