We’re big fans of dry brining poultry to create a crisp skin. The technique works especially well with barbecued chicken, which tends to develop rubbery skin from the moisture in the barbecue sauce. We also brown the chicken at the end of cooking (sometimes called a reverse sear) to make sure the exterior doesn’t burn before the meat is cooked through to the center.
Makes 4 Servings
- 4 lb (2 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs, and drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon coarse
- sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons peanut or other vegetable oil
- 4 large handfuls wood chips or chunks
- 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) Basic Barbecue Sauce
How to make Barbecued Chicken
- Place a large wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Trim any excess fat from the chicken parts, then coat them evenly all over with the salt and pepper. Place the chicken parts, skin side up on the rack on the pan. Refrigerate uncovered for 2 days.
- Heat the grill for medium indirect heat with (325°-350°F/160-180°C). If using charcoal, wrap the wood chips in 2 perforated aluminum foil packets and place one packet on the hot coals, or place 2 handfuls of wood chunks directly on the coals. If using a gas grill, wrap the chips in 2 perforated foil packets, and put one packet directly over one of the gas burners under the cooking grate. Or if your grill has a smoker box, use it
- Coat the chicken all over with the oil and let stand at room temperature until the grill is ready and smoky. Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Put the chicken parts on the grate away from the fire, cover the grill, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh away from bone registers 165°F (74°C) or into a breast away from bone registers 155°F (68°C), 30-40 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay between 325 and 350°F (160°-180’C). When the wood stops smoking about halfway through the cooking, add the remaining foil packet of chips or handfuls of chunks. During the last 10 minutes, move the chicken directly over the fire to crisp and brown the skin (you can leave off the lid). During the last 2-3 minutes, brush the chicken parts all over with half of the barbecue sauce, briefly browning each side and taking care not to let the sauce burn. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with the remaining barbecue sauce.
- Barbecued Chicken is ready to be served. I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Chef Tip: Replace the Basic Barbecue Sauce with any of the sauce variations.