Finger-licking Good: Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe

What’s cookin’, folks? My name is Chef [Your Name] and I am excited to share with you one of my all-time favorite recipes for Southern Barbecued Chicken! There is nothing quite like the smell of chicken sizzling on the grill with a tangy barbecue sauce slathered on top. This dish is a true staple of Southern soul food, and it always brings me back to my roots.

You might be wondering what makes this recipe so special. Well, let me tell you – it’s all about the balance of flavors. My recipe calls for a mix of sweet and savory ingredients, including brown sugar, molasses, garlic, and Dijon mustard. And we can’t forget the secret ingredient – lemon juice. It adds just the right amount of acidity to balance out the sweetness.

I’ll be honest with you – this recipe requires a little bit of extra effort compared to your standard grilled chicken. But trust me, it is worth it! The end result is tender, juicy chicken infused with flavors that will have your taste buds going wild.

So whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or just looking to switch up your weeknight dinner routine, give this Southern Barbecued Chicken recipe a try. Get ready for a flavor explosion that will transport you straight to the South!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Barbecued Chicken
Southern Barbecued Chicken

Listen up, my Southern food-loving friends, because I’ve got a recipe that’ll knock your socks off! Get ready for some finger-licking, soul-satisfying Southern Barbecued Chicken. Trust me – you are going to love this recipe!

This isn’t just any old barbecue chicken recipe; it’s a spicy, southern twist on the classic dish. The perfect blend of smoky, savory and sweet flavors will leave your taste buds dancing. And don’t worry – this recipe is easy to make even for those who aren’t experienced chefs.

Using high-quality ingredients like garlic cloves, Dijon mustard, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and cider vinegar, this dish will be sure to satisfy your cravings for authentic southern barbecue chicken. The chicken itself is the star of the show here, with each piece perfectly coated in a delicious blend of spices and sauces.

Plus, when you fire up the grill or turn on the oven to cook this recipe at home, you’ll have everyone around you drooling from the smell alone. This recipe will make you feel right at home in the heart of the South.

So whether you’re looking to impress your neighbors with your cooking skills or just looking for a delicious meal to enjoy with your loved ones, this Southern Barbecued Chicken is exactly what you need in your life. Try it out!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to sink your teeth into the ultimate Southern barbecued chicken!
Get ready to sink your teeth into the ultimate Southern barbecued chicken!

Let’s talk ingredients y’all. To make this Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe, you’re going to need some pantry staples and some fresh ingredients. Don’t worry, though – I’ll make sure to give you all the details on what you need to pick up at the grocery store.

Here are the Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Chicken: 6-8 pieces of chicken, skin-on (you can use a mix of chicken legs, thighs, and breasts if you’d like)

  • Garlic Cloves: 3-4 garlic cloves, minced

  • Dijon Mustard: 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • Molasses: 2 tablespoons molasses

  • Brown Sugar: 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • Worcestershire Sauce: 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Canola Oil: 1/2 cup canola oil

  • Cider Vinegar: 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • Tomato Puree: 1 cup tomato puree

  • Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Garlic Powder: 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Black Pepper: 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • Kosher Salt: 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

The Recipe How-To

 This juicy chicken is perfectly grilled and slathered in a smoky BBQ sauce.
This juicy chicken is perfectly grilled and slathered in a smoky BBQ sauce.

Before we get into this southern barbecued chicken recipe, make sure your chicken is at room temperature, which helps the meat cook at an even pace. While waiting for your chicken to reach room temperature, it’s a great time to preheat your grill, making sure to oil the grates to prevent sticking. Follow these steps for some mouth-watering BBQ chicken.


  • 8 pieces of chicken (legs and/or breasts)
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • 3 1/2 cups of bbq sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Garlic powder (1 tsp)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Lemon juice (1/2 of a lemon)
  • Garlic cloves (2 minced)
  • Dijon mustard (1 tablespoon)
  • Molasses (1 tablespoon)
  • Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon)
  • Cider vinegar (2 tablespoons)
  • Tomato puree (2 cups)


  1. Mix together the canola oil and bbq sauce in a bowl.
  2. Season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides.
  3. Place the chicken on the grill, skin side down.
  4. Grill on low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together garlic powder, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic cloves, Dijon mustard, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and tomato puree.
  6. Flip the chicken over and brush the mixture onto the skin side of the chicken.
  7. Close the lid of your grill and increase heat to medium-high.
  8. Cook covered for another 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  9. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Southern Barbecued Chicken is Ready!

This simple recipe is perfect for both beginner and expert grillers alike. It is great served with some coleslaw, cornbread or a baked potato. Southern barbecued chicken can be prepared using either gas or charcoal grills, or even in the oven. So fire up your grill and let’s get cooking!

Substitutions and Variations

 Give your taste buds a kick and add a little heat to your BBQ sauce.
Give your taste buds a kick and add a little heat to your BBQ sauce.

Hey there, now that we know the recipe for Southern Barbecued Chicken, it’s time to talk about some possible substitutions and variations. As someone who loves experimenting in the kitchen, I always encourage you to use this recipe as a starting point and then make it your own.

First off, let’s talk about the chicken. While this recipe calls for chicken legs or breasts, feel free to switch it up with some wings or even bone-in thighs. In fact, if you’re feeling adventurous, try smoking the chicken before grilling it to really infuse that classic smoky flavor.

Now let’s talk sauce. This recipe calls for a combination of tomato puree and barbecue sauce, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of barbecue sauces. For example, you could try a tangy mustard-based sauce or a sweet and spicy hickory smoked version. Another fun variation is adding maple syrup or honey to the sauce to give it a touch of sweetness.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, try baking the chicken in the oven instead of grilling it. Coat the chicken with the sauce mixture and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked through.

Lastly, let’s talk sides. While traditional Southern sides like mac and cheese and collard greens are always delicious options, why not switch things up with some grilled corn on the cob or roasted sweet potatoes? Or if you want to spice things up even more, try pairing your barbecued chicken with Southern Thai chicken fried rice.

Remember, cooking is all about being creative and making something that suits your taste buds. So go ahead and have fun with it!

Serving and Pairing

 This recipe is tried and true; it's been passed down through generations of Southern cooks.
This recipe is tried and true; it’s been passed down through generations of Southern cooks.

Alright, so you’ve prepared a delicious batch of Southern-style Barbecued Chicken. Now it’s time to talk about how to serve and pair this tasty dish for maximum enjoyment.

As a classic Americana meal, BBQ chicken is perfect for outdoor gatherings with family and friends. And when it comes to pairing your chicken, you can keep it simple or get creative. With its rich smoky flavor and tender, juicy meat, Southern Barbecued Chicken pairs well with a range of sides and drinks.

One of my favorite ways to serve this dish is with classic Southern-style sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, or cornbread muffins. These hearty sides are perfect for balancing out the bold flavors of the barbecue sauce and providing texture contrast to the tender chicken.

If you’re looking to spice things up a bit, try pairing your barbecued chicken with spicy pickles or hot sauce. The heat will complement the bold flavors of the barbeque nicely.

And we can’t forget about the drinks! Sweet tea is the quintessential Southern sipper that pairs perfectly with this barbecue classic (add some lemon for an extra zing!). For those over 21, an ice-cold beer like an IPA or crisp lager can also be a refreshing choice.

So there you have it – Southern Barbecued Chicken served up with a side of soul food and washed down with some sweet tea or beer. It doesn’t get more southern than that!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 If you're looking for a meal that'll make your taste buds dance, this barbecued chicken is it!
If you’re looking for a meal that’ll make your taste buds dance, this barbecued chicken is it!

One of the great things about this Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time, stored and reheated for later. So if you’re planning on hosting a barbecue party and want to minimize your cooking time on the day of the event, this recipe is perfect for you.

To make ahead, cook the chicken according to the recipe instructions and refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to three days. When ready to serve, simply reheat it in the oven at 350°F (176°C) for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

If you have leftovers, store them in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days. When reheating, make sure to do so in small batches in a microwave-safe dish or in the oven using foil to preserve moisture and prevent dryness.

It’s important not to leave the chicken out on the counter at room temperature for more than two hours as this can increase the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illness. Be sure to store it properly in a refrigerator below 40°F (4°C) within two hours after cooking.

Overall, with proper storage and reheating techniques, this Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe can be enjoyed fresh or save you time on a later day while retaining its flavor and texture.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A little char on the chicken gives it the perfect crispy texture before you even take a bite.
A little char on the chicken gives it the perfect crispy texture before you even take a bite.

Now that you have all the ingredients and have followed the recipe how-to, it’s time to share my expert tips to ensure your Southern Barbecued Chicken comes out perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor. With the right techniques and a little bit of patience, you can take this classic recipe to new heights.

Firstly, marinate your chicken for at least 2 hours or better still, overnight in the refrigerator. This helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with deep flavors. When you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the marinade and let it come up to room temperature before grilling.

Another tip – mastering the grill is key when preparing barbecued chicken. A common mistake is cooking the chicken on high heat which can quickly burn the skin while leaving the inside undercooked. Start with medium heat first to get some crispy grill marks on your skin while keeping your chicken moist and perfectly cooked.

Moreover, when grilling chicken legs or breasts remember to always start skin side down first. This will allow crispy skin formation, leading to that extra crunch in every bite. Turning them over too early might cause it to stick on the grill or lose its crispiness.

Additionally, basting your chicken while cooking is essential to lock in moisture and enhance flavor. However, be careful not to apply too much barbecue sauce at once as this might end up burning your meat instead. Gradually brush on the sauce in small batches as you watch carefully.

Finally, always let your chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. This helps redistribute juices ensuring that every bite remains moist and flavorful.

By following these simple tips on marinating, grilling, basting, and resting your Southern Barbecued Chicken, you can achieve an extraordinary taste that’s true southern soul food barbecue!


Before we conclude this recipe article and send you on your way to trying out this delicious southern barbecued chicken recipe, let’s take a moment to answer some frequently asked questions. These questions will help clear any uncertainties or doubts you may have about the dish or the recipe. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and clarify some doubts!

How do I make BBQ chicken without drying it out?

If you want to avoid the dry, rubbery texture of grilled chicken, it’s best to brine it. Brining involves soaking the chicken in a salt-water solution before grilling it. This not only prevents overcooking but also enhances the taste by creating a crusty, caramelized exterior due to the increased surface moisture and sugar content.

What do you soak chicken in before grilling?

For a perfectly juicy and tender chicken, skip the usual marination and opt for a brine instead. By submerging the chicken in a saltwater solution for a few hours prior to cooking, you allow the salt to penetrate the muscle fibers, making it more absorbent to moisture. Moreover, this helps in retaining the moisture content and prevents the muscle fibers from contracting under high heat.

How do you BBQ chicken so that the skin is crispy?

To get that perfect crispy skin on your chicken, sprinkle it with some salt before grilling it over low to moderate heat. Remember to keep the heat level moderate as high heat can cause the fat to sear instead of slowly melting away. Grill the chicken skin-side down until the fat renders and the skin turns crispy. Then, flip the chicken over and cook for a few minutes until it’s cooked through.

Bottom Line

This Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves flavorful, tender and juicy chicken. As a chef who specializes in Southern-style cuisine, I pride myself on creating recipes that capture the essence of Southern soul food. And let me tell you, this barbecued chicken recipe will not disappoint!

By marinating the chicken in a mixture of brown sugar, garlic, lemon juice, and other spices, you’ll infuse it with flavor before even hitting the grill. The end result? A spicy and savory barbecue sauce that caramelizes on the skin and creates a beautiful crust while keeping the inside moist.

So why settle for bland grilled chicken when you can have this spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe? Trust me when I say that your taste buds are in for a treat! Give it a shot, and taste for yourself how good our Southern-style BBQ chicken really is. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Southern Barbecued Chicken

Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe

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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 676.1 kcal


  • 4 lbs chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces

Southern Barbecue Sauce

  • 11 1/2 ounces tomato puree
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice


  • In a saucepan, combine tomato puree,cider vinegar, canola oil, Worchestershie, brown sugar mustard, garlic, and lemon juice.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer and continue cooking over low heat 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
  • Let stand 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.
  • Heat barbecue to moderate and oil the grill bars.
  • Lightly sear chicken pieces on all sides, about 2 minutes on each side, remove to a plate.
  • Place half the sauce in a small pan and place by the barbecue.
  • Place a sheet of silicon baking paper over the bars and prick at intervals between the runs to allow ventilation.
  • Place the chicken onto the baking paper and brush sauce over chicken.
  • Cover barbecue with lid and cook for 5 minutes, lift lid, brush chicken with sauce, close lid and cook 5 minutes.
  • Repeat this process every 5 minutes for 40-45 minutes until chicken is a rich brown in color and cooked through.
  • Serve chicken with the hot sauce and jacket potatoes cooked on the barbecue.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 351gCalories: 676.1kcalCarbohydrates: 28.7gProtein: 35.4gFat: 46.2gSaturated Fat: 9.2gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 360.4mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 21g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Meat, Poultry
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