Delicious Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe

Picture this – you’re sitting outside in your backyard on a warm summer day, surrounded by friends and family. The smell of barbecued chicken drifts through the air and your mouth begins to water. You break off a piece of southern-style, spicy barbecued chicken and take a bite – the tender meat melts in your mouth, and the sweet and spicy flavor combination is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

Well, my friends, that dream can become a reality with my Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe. This recipe is perfect for those summer barbecues, Sunday dinners, or just as a delicious weeknight meal.

Using a combination of ginger root, garlic cloves, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, honey, ketchup, and tomato paste – this recipe creates a sweet and tangy flavor that will leave your taste buds dancing. It’s everything you love about southern BBQ chicken with just the right amount of spice to make it anything but ordinary.

Trust me when I say that after one bite of this spicy southern barbecued chicken, you’ll never go back to regular ol’ BBQ again. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken
Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken

This spicy southern barbecued chicken recipe is a complete game-changer. It’s bursting with flavor, smoky and tangy with a hint of sweetness that will make your taste buds dance. Not only is it finger-licking good, but it’s also super simple to make, meaning you can prepare it even on a busy weeknight.

The combination of ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and onion powder adds an extra zing to the recipe, making every bite more exciting than the last. The sauce made from ketchup, molasses, honey, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar gives the chicken a rich and fabulous flavor that’s hard to resist. And if you’re a fan of sticky and sweet chicken, this recipe spiced using cayenne pepper, ginger, and garlic combined with the sweetness of honey and molasses is a must-try.

You’ll love this recipe because it’s versatile. You can use any skinless chicken pieces you like – from chicken thighs to oven-baked chicken leg quarters – to create this Southern-style dish. Whether you want barbecue sauce or spicy BBQ grilled chicken, this recipe has got you covered.

Additionally, the marinade in this recipe is versatile too. It can be used for other dishes such as fried chicken breasts or even barbecue ribs. With so many applications of this recipe in your kitchen repertoire, there’s no reason not to give it a try!

Lastly, this spicy southern barbecued chicken recipe is perfect for serving large groups of friends or family at those summer barbecues or winter get-togethers. You’ll impress everyone with the delicious taste and create an atmosphere of comfort that can only come from homemade southern cooking.

Once you try out our tasty Southern BBQ chicken on your platter, you’ll find yourself craving it again and again. So why wait? Head to your kitchen now and whip up this delicious recipe that will change how you look at barbecued chicken forever.

Ingredient List

 A sizzling piece of perfectly grilled chicken, coated in spicy BBQ sauce.
A sizzling piece of perfectly grilled chicken, coated in spicy BBQ sauce.

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken, which is perfect for your next barbecue or Southern-style dinner party:

  • 3-4 lbs of skinless chicken pieces
  • 1 gingerroot, peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 2 tsp of ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of molasses
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 2 cups of ketchup
  • 2 cans (6 oz each) of tomato paste

All these ingredients are carefully selected to provide the right balance between savory and sweet flavors, with a spicy kick that captures the essence of BBQ. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything on hand, as there are some substitutions and variations you can make that still yield great results.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to spice up your taste buds with this delicious southern-style dish.
Get ready to spice up your taste buds with this delicious southern-style dish.

Preparing the Chicken
Step 1: Combine the Spices

To get started on this spicy Southern barbecued chicken recipe, it’s time to prepare the marinade. First, you’ll want to combine all of your spices in a bowl. Gather 1 teaspoon of gingerroot, 2 minced garlic cloves, and add in 1 tablespoon each of onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

Next, turn your attention to the sauce. To a separate bowl, add together 1 cup of vinegar, ½ cup of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of molasses, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Mix together until thoroughly combined.

Step 3: Spice Things Up

Now, with both your spices and sauce ready, it’s time to bring them together. Pour your spice mixture into the sauce bowl and mix everything together well. This is what’s going to give your chicken that absolutely delicious, spicy kick!

Step 4: Prepare the Chicken

Before diving in fully with the sauce preparation, we need to prepare our skinless chicken pieces. That means covering both sides with the spice-and-sauce mixture we just assembled in order to infuse that flavor deep into every nook and cranny. To do this, arrange your chicken pieces in a single layer on the bottom of a large saucepan or skillet. TIP: if you’ve ever wanted that true, smoky flavor reminiscent of Southern BBQ restaurants but don’t have access to a smoker, try adding a little bit (somewhere between one-fourth and half a teaspoon) of liquid smoke to your marinade.

Cooking Instructions
Step 1: Simmer and Marinate

With the chicken all prepped, it’s time to get it cooking. Begin by pouring the remaining sauce mixture on top of your chicken pieces arranged in a single layer. Add some sliced onions on top so they can get infused with the marinade as well.

Place your skillet over medium-high heat and bring everything to a gentle simmer. From there, reduce the heat slightly and let everything simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that all of the chicken is evenly coated in that delicious sauce.

Step 2: Grill or Broil Your Chicken

While your chicken is simmering away, it’s time to get your grill or broiler ready to cook the chicken off just right. You can use either for this recipe – really, whatever you have available or prefer.

Once you’re ready to start grilling or broiling, simply remove the chicken from the saucepan using a pair of tongs and transfer it to your prepared grill/broiler. Cook each side until nicely browned and cooked through – approximately

Substitutions and Variations

 A plate full of mouth-watering Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken.
A plate full of mouth-watering Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken.

Southern-style cooking is all about creativity and putting a unique spin on traditional recipes. This Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe is no exception! Let me give you some ideas for substitutions and variations to make this recipe your own.

– Chicken Substitutes: If you don’t have skinless chicken pieces available, you can substitute with bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks.

– Spice Up: If you prefer your chicken to be extra spicy, add an extra teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the marinade. You can also use chili powder or red pepper flakes for a milder spice.

– Sauce Swaps: While the sauce in this recipe is already delicious, feel free to experiment with different BBQ sauces such as Valerie Bertinelli’s Maple BBQ sauce or a classic smokey BBQ sauce if you want to take it to the next level.

– Sweeten Up: This recipe already has a perfect balance of sweetness and heat, however, if you want it sweeter, increase the honey or molasses proportion according to your taste. Similarly, if you prefer it less sweet, go lighter on them.

– Oven-baked Chicken Quarters: Though this recipe highlights the barbecuing process, sometimes we’d like to try out variations that are more suitable for our kitchens. One way is to swap out grilling with baking in the oven. Season your chicken quarters and oven-bake it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour until fully cooked through.

With these substitution suggestions and alterations, every cook can elevate their Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken recipe creating their distinct Southern comfort cuisine style.

Serving and Pairing

 This chicken is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.
This chicken is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.

Once you’ve cooked up this spicy Southern barbecued chicken, it’s time to decide what to serve it with. The rich, tangy flavor of the sauce goes perfectly with classic barbecue sides like baked beans and coleslaw.

But don’t be afraid to get creative! I love to pair this dish with a slightly sweet and creamy potato salad or crispy hush puppies for contrast. And for an extra touch of Southern comfort, serve up some warm cornbread with a side of honey butter.

If you’re looking for something refreshing to balance the heat, why not try serving this chicken with a cool cucumber and tomato salad? The crunch of fresh vegetables will provide a satisfying contrast to the smoky and spicy flavors in the dish. And if you’re feeling especially indulgent, why not top it all off with a slice of rich, chocolaty pecan pie?

No matter how you choose to serve this dish, one thing’s for sure – it’s made for sharing. So kick back, relax and enjoy all the delicious classic flavors of Southern barbecue cuisine on one plate.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Char-grilled and dripping in BBQ sauce, this chicken is a treat for the eyes and taste buds.
Char-grilled and dripping in BBQ sauce, this chicken is a treat for the eyes and taste buds.

When it comes to southern-style barbecued chicken, the aroma alone is enough to make your mouth water. But let’s face it, who has time to grill chicken every day? Fortunately, this spicy southern barbecued chicken recipe can be made ahead of time and stored for later use.

To make this recipe ahead of time, start by preparing the sauce according to the recipe instructions. Once ready, transfer half of the sauce to a large bowl and mix with the skinless chicken pieces until well coated. Arrange the chicken on a platter and brush with the remaining half of the sauce mixture before covering with plastic wrap.

Store the chicken in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before grilling or broiling. When ready to cook, simply remove from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before grilling or broiling as per step 3 of the recipe.

If you have leftovers from grilling or broiling, don’t fret. The leftover spicy southern barbecued chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

To reheat, place in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

Whether you’re meal prepping for busy weekdays or saving leftovers for later use, this spicy southern barbecued chicken recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings even when reheated.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect summer BBQ dish for those who like it hot!
The perfect summer BBQ dish for those who like it hot!

Now that you’re ready to make some finger-lickin’ spicy southern barbecued chicken, let me give you some tips for perfect results. Trust me, these tips will take your barbecuing skills to the next level.

First, use skinless chicken pieces to avoid flare-ups and charred meat. This will help the spice mixture penetrates the meat better, and you won’t have to worry about burnt skin.

Second, the combination of gingerroot and garlic cloves give a deep and warm flavor to the chicken. So, don’t skip it, they really make a difference.

Third, sprinkle onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper evenly over each piece. Don’t be shy with the cayenne pepper if you like your chicken spicy!

Fourth, simmer the sauce for at least 15 minutes to let all that goodness of molasses, honey, ketchup, tomato paste blend together. You’ll end up with a thick and sticky glaze that will elevate your chicken game.

Fifth, don’t forget to brush half of the sauce mixture onto the chicken after it has been grilling for about an hour. This will help develop a tempting crust on the outside of each piece.

Sixth, cover and marinate the chicken overnight in a plastic wrap in the fridge for maximum flavor absorption. I swear this makes all the difference.

Seventh, use a large platter or oven-safe dish to let your chicken rest before serving. This will help soften the texture of the skin and make it even juicier inside.

Eighth, pair this spicy southern barbecue chicken with traditional sides such as cornbread, coleslaw or mashed potatoes. Southern comfort food at its finest!

Last but not least, experiment with different substitutions or variations according to your liking – try baked bbq or grilled chicken thighs instead of leg quarters; add some maple syrup for extra sweetness; or opt for a barbecue sauce to make oven barbecued chicken breast.

Trust me, with these tips for perfect results, you’ll be the queen or king of southern barbecued chicken in no time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are looking for a finger-licking good barbecue chicken recipe inspired by the southern-style cuisine, this spicy southern barbecued chicken recipe is your answer. The blend of ginger, garlic, honey, and molasses gives it that distinct taste unique to southern comfort food. This recipe provides you with the flexibility to make substitutions and variations, allowing you to experiment and tailor the dish to your specific tastes.

The flavorful marinade sauce doubles as an excellent topping for grilled veggies or other proteins like steak or pork chops. Plus, with its easy preparation and make-ahead capabilities, this recipe suits various occasions, be it date night or family cookouts.

I hope this article has been helpful in guiding you through the steps necessary to recreate this lip-smacking spicy barbecue chicken right from the comfort of your own kitchen. Impress your guests with this tasty dish that boasts quality ingredients coupled with a touch of southern charm.

So, put on your apron and get cooking; I guarantee this will be one of those recipes you keep coming back to time and time again. It’s chicken so sticky it will make you feel like Valerie Bertinelli herself.

Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken

Spicy Southern Barbecued Chicken Recipe

Heart Healthy Recipes
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 breast
Calories 84.7 kcal


  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste (3 ozs)
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons vinegar, white
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon gingerroot, grated
  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken pieces (breasts, drumsticks)


  • Combine all ingredients except chicken in a saucepan.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Wash chicken and pat dry.
  • Place chicken on a large platter.
  • Brush chicken with 1/2 of sauce mixture.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and broil for 10 minutes on each side to seal in juices.
  • Turn oven down to 350° F and add the remaining sauce to the chicken.
  • Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and continue baking for 30 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 72gCalories: 84.7kcalCarbohydrates: 6.2gProtein: 11.2gFat: 1.6gSaturated Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 34.5mgSodium: 162.9mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 4.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh & Leg, Healthy, High In..., High Protein, Meat, Poultry, Savory
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