Lacquered with barbecue sauce, this juicy chicken swaps constant flipping on the grill for a mostly hands-off process using the oven and one smart trick: The dry-rubbed chicken roasts most of the way on top of barbecue sauce. The resulting sauce becomes thickened and glossy from the chicken’s rendered fat. It’s then spooned onto the chicken and roasted until sticky, caramelized and rich with flavor. Serve the extra sauce with dinner, for dipping chicken, or spooning directly into your mouth. (For boneless barbecue chicken, try this stovetop method.)
Oven BBQ Chicken
• 1 (18-ounce) jar barbecue sauce, or 2 cups homemade barbecue sauce
• About 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters or thighs, patted dry
• 1 tablespoon neutral oil (such as grapeseed)
• 2 teaspoons store-bought or homemade chili powder
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
• 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Pour the barbecue sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or dish, or a large skillet, or another ovenproof vessel that fits the chicken snugly, then shake so the sauce disperses into an even layer.
In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the oil, chili powder, paprika and 1 teaspoon salt until coated. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, on top of the barbecue sauce. Roast until the chicken skin is crisp, 30 to 35 minutes.
Scrape the sides of the pan and stir the barbecue sauce to incorporate the caramelized bits into the sauce. Turn the chicken to coat in the sauce, arrange skin-side-up, then spoon sauce on top of the chicken. Roast until the chicken is sticky and charred in spots, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to plates. Stir the apple cider vinegar into the sauce remaining in the pan. Serve the chicken with the extra sauce.
Total time: 1 hour, serves 4-6.