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Old Fashion BBQ Chicken or What Summer Smells Like

“This old fashioned BBQ chicken with an easy BBQ rub and a no cook BBQ sauce will have the neighbors swooning when they smell it on your grill. A family classic recipe-I know you will love it!”

Growing up across the street from a popular park meant that our neighborhood always smelled good. Really. We were always able to catch the drift of what was cooking somewhere in our vicinity. Was it hot dogs or hamburgers, possibly steak or most likely, BBQ chicken. It was always fun scouting the park, looking for friends, while also checking out everyone’s picnic table. The red checked tablecloths were topped with bags of chips and potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon, sodas and baked beans. It looked like fun, as our family was not big into picnics. I think we tried it once, but my dad preferred his meals at home.

Every now and then, my mom would BBQ chicken. We weren’t like my husband’s family from Texas, who did briskets and such. We did chicken and that was our BBQ. If my mom wasn’t opening a blue and red jar (I can’t remember the name) of BBQ sauce, she sometimes made her own. That was a special treat. I don’t have the recipe, but I believe it was something like the one that we are doing today. I kept it simple but perused a few of my old cookbooks that soon might be labeled vintage. In any case, most old fashioned sauces contained butter, lemon juice and ketchup. Pretty consistent, they were.

I enjoyed this sauce and I enjoyed cooking on the grill. My dad probably would have used charcoal, at least until he got gas. And he probably would have been yelled at for burning the chicken. But really, that is what makes the chicken send out that great caramel smell through the neighborhood. This sauce contains sugar and sugar burns if cooked on too high of a heat, but burnt sugar has that certain taste – as long as it isn’t too overdone. 

Buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces. Chicken has more flavor if cooked still on the bone. And it is easier to pick up because there is more to grab! Cook it low and slow. Don’t brush on the sauce until the end. Don’t worry if it gets a little black. It is still good that way. And always serve with an ear of corn on the side and some watermelon. Potato salad, coleslaw, some garlic bread. Baked beans. Boy, you could almost skip the chicken, but then you don’t get that great smell. That intoxicating aroma of grilling. Yes. You could do a potluck. I love summer food. Perhaps a beer would be good, too. Make that two.
And be prepared for your neighbors to be guessing what you are cooking. They will want to fire up their grill, too! Shoot-be a neighbor and invite them over. They will be very happy.

BBQ Chicken (serves 4)
1 cut up chicken (I usually cut each breast into two pieces)
Chicken Rub (Use this all)
1 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T paprika
1 t smoked paprika
1 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 t salt
Mix together and rub into chicken. Get it all over. Inside and out. Upside and downside. Let it sit all day if you can-or at least an hour.
Old Fashion BBQ Sauce
6 T ketchup
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 T Worcestershire
6 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t fresh ground black pepper
1 t dry mustard
1 t smoked paprika
1 t paprika
1/2 t celery seed (the secret ingredient)
4 T melted butter
Mix together and let sit to let flavors meld. (I have seen many recipes that first suggest sauteing onions and celery in the butter. This is good, but not necessary unless you really love onions.) Or love extra work!
Cooking the chicken:
Preheat grill to medium. Place chicken on grill. Cook low and slow. Total cooking time is about one hour. Drink your beer now. You can have the second with dinner. Turn as needed. Do not brush with sauce until chicken is almost cooked through. Brush with sauce, shut grill lid, and let it kind of melt in. This can take about 5 minutes. Then turn over and do the other side. Serve leftover sauce on the side. White meat usually cooks the fastest. If this happens, place it on the grill side that is turned off, to keep it warm. 
Other things to try:

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    August 9, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    They are mouthwatering, Abbe. The photos, esp. the one those chicken sitting on the grill, look so dang tempting!

  • Reply
    Natalie G
    August 9, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Well your pictures have me drooling over here, seems like the perfect chicken bbq!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      It is Natalie! I love when someone compliments my pictures.I guess I did well, today!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    August 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks Angie. I think I'll go get a piece for lunch.

  • Reply
    Cindy
    August 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    what great memories this brings back! Wish I had some now. cindy

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 11, 2013 at 3:29 am

      Thanks Cindy. And Mark just informed me that mom used Open Pit. They don't sell it here. You should be hearing from Alex soon!

  • Reply
    NancyC
    August 10, 2013 at 1:48 am

    That sounds so good! BBQ chicken is a great summer dish!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 11, 2013 at 3:30 am

      It was good Nancy. We fought over leftovers today!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    August 10, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Is it even legal not to burn your chicken a little bit? Love that char, even though I know many frown on it. I've never met a BBQ sauce I didn't like, and this one is no exception – looks mighty tasty. Heck, I have a red & white checked table cloth somewhere – I need to pull it out and make this! πŸ˜‰ Good stuff – thanks.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 11, 2013 at 3:31 am

      I like it a little charred, too! Just like I like my marshmallows! Get out that cloth! it is true that all BBq sauces are pretty dang good!

  • Reply
    cquek
    August 10, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Can’t wait to give them a try. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Cathleen
    August 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Wow. These looks too good! I'm always looking for more chicken recipes, yum!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 11, 2013 at 3:32 am

      Thanks Cathleen. This one has stood the test of time!

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    August 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Your chicken is grilled to perfection!!! And your BBQ sauce sounds terrific. We're grilling ribs tonight…with a side of corn on the cob, of course πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 11, 2013 at 3:33 am

      Ooh, this would be good on ribs, too! And I can never have enough corn. that's what happens after growing up in Illinois.

  • Reply
    Shulie Foodwanderings
    August 11, 2013 at 2:42 am

    Oooh this BBQ chix & sauce look so awesome. I always look for new recipes now that I have one I absolutely love it's time to widen my horizons. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 12, 2013 at 3:40 am

      Sometimes it is hard to switch but it is always fun to try something new! Thanks Shulie. just leave out the butter!

  • Reply
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    August 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Here, weekends most of all, the smell is of charcoal or wood burning, as people start their barbecues, a big deal here. I love those smells! Homemade bbq sauce is addictive Abbe! Must try this recipe, rub and all.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 12, 2013 at 3:41 am

      Enjoy Paula. It is addictive and something I miss in winter.

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Your BBQ chicken looks succulent! I agree, this is exactly what summer smells like. Love BBQ in the summer.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 12, 2013 at 3:42 am

      Thanks Amy. I want some of those chocolate hazelnut things for dessert!

  • Reply
    Laura Dembowski
    August 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I love when I can smell food, whether I'm making it or my neighbors or nearby restaurants, it always makes me happy!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 12, 2013 at 3:43 am

      Food smells definitely make people happy unless it is a bag of burning microwave popcorn. That doesn't go over so well and don't ask me how I know!

  • Reply
    ChgoJohn
    August 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    This sounds so good, Abbe. I vividly remember the scent of chicken grilling on the barbecue. I need to do it again and this time I'll use your barbecue sauce. Love that it doesn't start with,"Take a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce … " Ugh! No, I will give yours a try and the rub. And I bet I have a wonderful dinner that night! Thanks for sharing both recipes, Abbe.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      August 12, 2013 at 3:44 am

      I'm sure there are a lot of good bottles out there but you and I know that homemade is the best way! Thanks John!

  • Reply
    The Sketched Chef
    August 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    They look extremely delicious !

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    August 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I am absolutely drooling. This chicken looks amazing and the sauce – well I won't be happy now until I have some!

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    August 13, 2013 at 2:33 am

    They are and thank you!

  • Reply
    Guru Uru
    August 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Your BBQ chicken looks utterly delicious, so summery for sure!

    Cheers
    CCU

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    August 14, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Thanks Uru! Hope your final went well! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    The Sketched Chef
    August 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    That looks absolutely delicious !
    Perfect for summer.

  • Reply
    Adam J. Holland
    May 29, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I know that smell, and I know that taste. I also remember what it tastes like between bites of buttered corn on the cob. Thanks for the memories and the wonderful recipe.

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