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5 BBQ Chicken Recipes That’ll Make You Feel Like a Champ!

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Although BBQ chicken is a must-have in any cookout, some people shy away from it because they think that it’s too hard to make at home. 

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. With the right recipes and techniques, BBQ chicken can be extremely easy to prepare. 

And I’ll show you a couple of recipes you can do, no matter what your grilling/cooking skill level is. 

1. Classic BBQ Chicken

Before we shoot for the stars and try something extraordinary, we first need to start with the basics — which in this case is the classic BBQ chicken recipe.

This is the recipe that started it all; the recipe that made BBQ chicken a household name in the world of grilling. 

Once you’re familiar with this recipe and are comfortable with making this at home, you can make any BBQ chicken recipe you want — no matter how difficult it may seem.

So, let’s get started by getting all our ingredients. These include two tablespoons of brown sugar, two chopped garlic cloves, 10 chicken drumsticks, and two tablespoons of vegetable oil.

To this list, add half a cup of finely chopped onion, three-fourths cup of ketchup, two tablespoons of white wine vinegar, two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and — of course — some salt and pepper. 

Once your ingredients are ready, mash your brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper together. 

If you have time to spare, you can squeeze in a bit of arm workout by using your muscles to mash these ingredients together using mortar and pestle. 

If not, you can use a blender or food processor to get the job done. It’s a faster and more effective way to do it, which is why I like this method better.

Now, spoon your paste into a large resealable bag. Throw the chicken in the bag to marinate. Seal it, and toss it in the fridge for at least an hour.

While that’s marinating, make your BBQ sauce.  Start by heating up some oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until it caramelizes. 

After about five minutes, go ahead and mix in the vinegar, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Let the whole thing simmer until the flavors come together.

While that’s happening, turn on your grill and give the grate a nice coating of vegetable oil. This should do the trick to avoid any sticking. 

At this point, take the chicken out of the bag and cook it for three minutes until it turns brown. 

Then, flip it around and do the same to the other side. Afterward, turn one of the burners off and move your chicken to indirect heat.

Leave your chicken on the colder part of your grill for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. 

After 20 minutes, you can baste your chicken with the BBQ sauce you just made until the meat no longer has a pink hue and the juices run clear. This may take another 20 to 25 minutes.

When your chicken is fully cooked through, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a serving plate. 

I usually like to eat my BBQ chicken with a cup of white rice, but you can also change the sides to mashed potatoes with gravy, grilled veggies, and beans. The potential is unlimited. 

2. BBQ Chicken Chermoula With Couscous

It’s a common misconception that the only way to make BBQ chicken is to use BBQ sauce. 

Although the traditional BBQ chicken is made with BBQ sauce, other cultures have developed their own version of this American dish, and here’s a North African interpretation. 

North Africans call their marinade or sauce chermoula. It’s made with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and cilantro. 

Compared to the sweet and smokey American marinade, this version has more of a tangy and zesty flavor.

If you want to make this recipe, grab a cup of fresh coriander and parsley, two minced garlic cloves, a teaspoon each of coriander and cumin, a pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of one lemon, and a little bit of olive oil. 

Additionally, you’ll need eight chicken thigh cutlets, 200 g of couscous, 200 mL of boiling water, 50 g of toasted pistachios, half a pomegranate, a tablespoon of pomegranate juice, and a teaspoon of honey.

After getting all the ingredients you need, put your coriander, parsley, garlic, ground coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor until they turn into a paste. 

Then, you want to transfer the paste to a big bowl and season it with some salt and pepper. Toss in the chicken to coat it and pop it in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

While that’s chilling, get your couscous ready by throwing it in a pot and cooking it using your boiling water. Leave it in the liquid for 10 minutes, or until it absorbs all the moisture.

When it’s nice and cooked, separate the grains by fluffing them with a fork. Then throw in your pistachios, pomegranate seeds, and herbs.

To make the dressing for your salad, blend your pomegranate juice, honey, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle this mixture over your couscous, and set it aside as you prepare the meat.

Take your chicken out of the marinade and put it on the grill grates to cook for six to eight minutes per side. 

Flip your chicken after eight minutes and do the same to the other side.

When your meat is fully cooked through, let it rest for around two to three minutes before serving it with your couscous salad.

This BBQ chicken dish is one of my personal favorites because it’s refreshing, zesty, and pretty healthy. 

The marinated meat and the couscous salad combo is a definite chef’s kiss, and I can’t wait to make this recipe again.

3. Korean-Style BBQ Chicken

As delicious as the previous two recipes are, sometimes I just don’t have time to wait for the chicken to marinate for hours. 

So, when I’m short on time, I make this awesome Korean-style BBQ chicken. It only takes 35 minutes and has tons of flavor without needing to marinate for hours.

Start with a cup of white sugar, soy sauce, water, a teaspoon of onion powder, ground ginger, a tablespoon of lemon juice, four teaspoons of hot chili paste, and a pound of chicken breast or thigh.

With your ingredients all laid out, whisk your sugar, soy sauce, water, onion powder, and ground ginger in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then gradually reduce the heat to simmer for five minutes. 

While your sauce is simmering, cut your chicken breasts into smaller pieces and season them with salt and pepper.

Grill them for six minutes on each side. Then, remove them from the heat and throw them into your homemade sauce. 

Make sure every chicken is coated to perfection before serving. You can serve it with a cup of rice or you can skewer your chicken pieces onto a stick to make a kabob.

4. BBQ Chicken Salad With Strawberries

Who thought that BBQ chicken and salad go together? I certainly didn’t — not until I tried this recipe. 

For the longest time, I would only pair my chicken with rice or a hearty side dish like mashed potatoes and beans. But apparently, it works with salad, too. And not just any salad — salad with strawberries. 

So, if you want to give this recipe a try, you’ll need one garlic clove, 15 g of basil, one grated and juiced lemon, 135 mL of extra virgin olive oil, and two pieces of chicken breast fillets. 

On top of these, you’ll also need 60 g of mixed greens, 60 g of baby rockets, 250 g of strawberries (cut into quarters), one sliced avocado, three radishes, one spring onion, and 35 g of toasted pistachios.

Now that your ingredients are ready, it’s time to make the salad! 

Grab your food processor and toss in your garlic until it’s finely chopped. Then add your basil and lemon rind until they’re finely chopped.

While your processor is running, gradually add half a cup (or 125 mL) of your oil. Wait until the mixture runs smooth and turns bright green before seasoning it with salt and pepper. 

Set your dressing aside for now as you get your BBQ chicken ready.

For this step, lightly coat your chicken breasts with the leftover oil and season them with just salt and pepper. Cook the chicken for six minutes per side until it’s charred and juicy. 

Then, transfer it to a cutting board and slice it into thick strips. 

Finally, put together your salad by mixing your greens, strawberries, avocado, radishes, and chicken chunks.

Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and drizzle with basil, spring onion, and pistachios before digging in!

While this salad is already quite filling for me, you can serve it with a few slices of toasted bread to add more carbs and fiber to your diet.

5. Loaded BBQ Chicken Nachos

As much as I try to eat healthy on any normal day, sometimes I can’t resist the temptation of having a cheat meal.

And of course, if I do have a cheat meal, I make it count, so I make this loaded BBQ chicken nachos that’s got all the indulgent ingredients I want. 

This recipe makes four servings because, let’s be real, one serving is never enough.

You’ll need a tablespoon of canola oil, two chicken breasts (chopped and diced), and half a teaspoon of kosher salt and black pepper.

You’ll also need a tablespoon of garlic and chili powder, three-fourths cup of BBQ sauce, one bag of tortilla chips, two cups of shredded cheese, half a red onion, and one diced tomato.

If you think that’s all of it, you’re wrong. To make these nachos loaded, grab eight strips of cooked bacon, two tablespoons of parsley, half a cup of sour cream, and one diced avocado. 

To start, grab a pan and cook your chicken chunks with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder for about two to three minutes.

As soon as the chicken starts to turn color, put in your BBQ sauce and keep cooking it until the sauce gets thicker or about five minutes.

Then, take the chicken off the heat and grab a big pan. 

Put enough tortilla chips in the pan to cover the bottom layer. On top of your chips, add half of your BBQ chicken, followed by a handful of cheese, tomato, onion, bacon, and parsley. 

Repeat this order until you run out of your ingredients or fill your skillet to the top. 

When your skillet is loaded enough, put it on the smoker or grill and let it cook for about 15 minutes. To check if your dish is ready, see if the cheese has melted completely. 

When that happens, take your skillet off the heat, drizzle your sour cream, top it off with your avocado slices, and enjoy!

Every time I make this recipe at home, the nachos won’t even last 30 minutes before the entire skillet becomes empty. It’s just that good!

Winner, Winner, BBQ Chicken Dinner!

If you’re scared of trying BBQ chicken at home because you think it’s way above your skill level, let this list prove you wrong. 

I was once in the same position but I learned that it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought. 

Thanks to these recipes, I feel more confident about making different variations of BBQ chicken for different occasions — whether it be a family dinner, BBQ cookout, or potluck at a friend’s house.

And if I can do it, you can too! Now it’s your turn to whip up a killer BBQ chicken dinner that’ll be a hit with everyone.

Sofia Exconde Avatar

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