Honey Chipotle BBQ Chicken

Smoky, spicy, sweet and sticky.  Is there anything better?

This wasn’t really intended to be a blog post, hence the lack of step by step photos.  These came about during an impromptu get together the other night where I found myself needing to feed five hungry men.  A few hours before, while getting my hair done, I asked my stylist what her favorite 4th of July food was.  She said BBQ Chicken, because it’s an inexpensive way to feed a hungry crowd of people. So when I ironically found myself in similar situation later that evening, I took her advise and bought a whole bunch of skin-on, bone-in chicken.


While the chicken was barbecuing, a deep and smokey scratch-made BBQ sauce was made. This was quite easy and surprisingly fast, but did require a lot of ingredients. So I’ll give you the scratch way – and also an even faster 3 ingredient way.

But first, I’d like to make a point.

This is a recipe for BBQ Chicken, not “grilled chicken”. There is a difference. Grilled Chicken (usually boneless, skinless breasts) are grilled hot and fast.  In contrast, BBQ chicken, (usually thighs, legs and wings, skin-on and bone-in) if done well, will take at least an hour or two on the grill, because it needs to be cooked on a lower heat, to get the meat tender.

The secret to good BBQ chicken, is to moderate the heat, however possible. If using coals, set them on the side of the grill so you have a cool spot, or try putting the chicken on the upper rack of the grill.  If you have a gas grill, turn the heat down to medium low or low, after the initial hot sear.  Slow and steady makes the best BBQ chicken.

Remember: Barbecuing is low and slow. Grilling is hot and fast.

Thanks for reading! For more Feasting at Home … 


Enjoy…. and Happy 4th!!!

Honey Chipotle BBQ Chicken

12 pieces skin-on, bone-in Chicken ( thighs and legs work best)
a little oil
Pre-heat Grill to High heat.
Rub a very tiny amount of oil all over the chicken pieces.
(Too much and it will cause a fire in your grill.)
Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper on all sides.
Lay the chicken, skin sides down on a hot grill for a 5-10 minutes to sear the skin side well, being careful not to burn. Once you have a good sear, turn over and move pieces to a cooler spot on the grill, or turn grill to medium low.
Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes. Turn them over and baste them with BBQ sauce. Cover and grill for 25 more minutes. Turn over and baste other side with BBQ sauce, covering for another 20-30 minutes or until thigh registers 170 F ( or juices run clear). Turn grill up to high and give skin side one last hot sear to crisp them up. Let rest few minutes before serving

Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce:

1/2 onion, diced
4 smashed garlic cloves
2 T oil
2 T butter
1/4 C tomato paste
1/3 C whiskey
1 Cup ketchup
1 small can Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (2 peppers, 3 T adobo sauce)
3 T Worcestershire
2 T balsamic
1/2 C honey
3 T molasses
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup water
cracked pepper
In a medium pot, saute diced onion and smashed garlic in oil and butter on medium high heat until tender. Add tomato paste and stir constantly, frying in the oil, about 2 minutes.
De-glaze with whiskey. Simmer for 1 minute, add  the remaining ingredients -ketchup, chipotles and adobo sauce, Worcestershire, balsamic, molasses, soy sauce, honey, cracked pepper and water.
Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender or in a blender (careful to cover blender lid with a towel, and hold lid down firmly while starting on lowest speed- to prevent a blender explosion that occurs with hot liquids). 
Return to pot, cover, and keep on low heat until ready to use.
An even faster way. Blend 2 Cups of your favorite bottled BBQ sauce with the chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, add honey to taste.  Sometimes a teaspoon of soy sauce helps to give it more depth if it needs it.


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