The Very Easiest BBQ Chicken Recipe Ever, Baked in the Oven for Year-Round Feasting.
Finger-licking good is just the tip of the iceberg with this baked BBQ chicken recipe! Cooked in the oven, these chicken thighs couldn’t be easier to make any time of year—no grill (and no sunshine) necessary. Chicken thighs are much more moist and juicy than chicken breast, and nutritionally—they’re a bit more fatty (but using skinless chicken thighs keeps them on the healthier side) but they’re also more nutritious. Coated generously in BBQ sauce and then baked in a hot oven, they become absolutely fall-apart tender. You can serve them with corn on the cob, a big salad, or build a wonderfully messy BBQ chicken sandwich around those perfectly roasted, saucy chicken thighs. However you eat them, we promise you’ll be deeply satisfied.
The Best BBQ Sauce for Chicken Is this (Easy) One You Make Yourself.
Nothing beats homemade BBQ sauce, and our recipe couldn’t be easier. We built is around everyone’s favorite “secret” ingredient—regular old ketchup! Ketchup is a magical pantry superpower, and if you’re not in the habit of adding a little (or a lot) of ketchup to sauces and marinades, well, get in the habit! You see, ketchup isn’t just puréed tomatoes and sugar. It is loaded with spices and cooked until the flavor is super concentrated. In other words, ketchup offers a major bang-for-buck in terms of flavor! Adding spices to it just enhances the existing deliciousness. Our BBQ sauce takes ketchup and makes is into the world’s best BBQ sauce by adding:
Apple cider vinegar
Regular sweet paprika
How to Make BBQ Chicken in the Oven
Roasting BBQ chicken thighs in the oven is such an easy process, and with some foil protecting your baking sheet, the clean-up is a breeze. A lot of people wonder if you put BBQ sauce on chicken before or after baking and we firmly believe that the correct answer is that you do BOTH! More BBQ sauce is always a good thing. Plus, start to finish (including making that BBQ sauce) our BBQ chicken recipe takes only about 25-30 minutes. Lots of that time is downtime, too, so while the chicken bakes, you can be tossing a salad or boiling some corn. In other words, dinner doesn’t get much easier or more sure-to-please than this BBQ chicken! Here’s how to make it:
Make the BBQ sauce! Simmer the BBQ sauce ingredients for a few minutes until the brown sugar has fully dissolved and the flavors have had a chance to meld.
Prep the chicken! Salt the chicken thighs and coat them with sauce.
Bake the chicken thighs! On a wire rack on a sheet pan in a 425°F degree oven for about 15 minutes. Half way through, flip the chicken and brush it with extra sauce and bake for another 15 minutes.
Broil the chicken thighs! This will get them nice and brown on the edges and will really make the sauce concentrated and a little sticky—just the way it’s supposed to be!
Eat the chicken thighs! With extra BBQ sauce on the side, because YUM!
Our Favorite BBQ Chicken Sides
You could go so many directions with your BBQ chicken sides—there’s no real “right” answer to this one. A green salad and some chips, or some macaroni salad, even, would be so good. You could use the chicken to build a super great sandwich, in which case sides aren’t even necessary. But, if you’d like to build a really classic BBQ chicken dinner, these side dish recipes are the way to go:
Pass The Napkins, Please.
Messy dinners are the very best kind of dinners, if you ask us. They’re fun to eat and convivial and (bonus!) no one can be fussing with their cell phones if their hands are covered in BBQ sauce. BBQ chicken is a full-body kind of meal, and we just love that. If you make this recipe, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!