Bourbon-Chile Barbecue Grilled Chicken

Tender, juicy chicken is lacquered in a sweet, spicy, smoky BBQ sauce
36 Ratings
100% would make again
BBQ Chicken
Photo: Tasting Table 

This year, we're kicking off grilling season with our recipe for the ultimate barbecue chicken. Chicken is marinated in a homemade bourbon- and Thai chile-laced barbecue sauce (see the recipe) before hitting a charcoal grill and getting glazed with more sauce. It's smoky and sticky, and has the perfect amount of heat.

When grilling chicken, you want a combination of direct and indirect heat. When searing the chicken, cook it over the hot area of the grill (where the majority of the coals are). Once crisp, move it to a cooler part of the grill (where there are few coals) to let the chicken finish cooking and ensure tender, juicy meat.

To learn more, read "All Up in Your Grill."

Bourbon-Chile Barbecue Grilled Chicken

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus resting time

Cook Time: 10 minutes, plus overnight marinating

Total Time: 30 minutes, plus overnight marinating and resting time


One 3-to-4-pound chicken, broken down into 8 pieces

1½ cups bourbon-chile barbecue sauce, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. In a plastic bag, combine the chicken and ¾ cup of the barbecue sauce. Seal the bag closed and massage the barbecue sauce onto the chicken. Refrigerate overnight.

2. The next day, light a grill. Remove the chicken and scrape off any barbecue sauce on the skin. Rub the chicken with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Place the chicken on the grill, skin-side down, and cook, flipping once, until charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush with the remaining barbecue sauce, then transfer to a cooler spot on the grill. Cook, covered, until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165º and the barbecue sauce has caramelized, 10 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and let rest 5 minutes, then serve.

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