No backyard? No problem! With the help of a quick spice rub, your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce, and a blast from your oven’s broiler, you can the sticky-sweet goodness of barbecued chicken—no grill necessary. It takes a little patience for the skin to crisp and the meat to tenderize, so don’t try to rush those steps (it’s worth it!).
Author: The Chef
Recipe type: Main dish
- 8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks (about 3 lb.)
- 3 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
- 1½ tsp. light brown sugar
- 1½ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 medium onions
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup store-bought barbecue sauce
- Arrange a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350°. Pat 8 chicken thighs and/or legs dry with paper towels, then transfer to a medium bowl.
- Toss 3 tsp. salt, 1½ tsp. brown sugar, 1½ tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. paprika, and 1 tsp. garlic powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle entire spice rub over chicken in bowl. Toss with tongs until pieces are coated.
- Peel and halve 2 onions through the root end. Place onion cut sides down on cutting board, then thinly slice lengthwise.
- Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Transfer onion to baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with more salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Spread onion mixture on baking sheet and place chicken legs over skin side up, spacing evenly.
- Roast chicken on top rack until skin is rendered and meat is tender all the way to the bone, 40–45 minutes. Turn on broiler and continue to roast until chicken skin is blistered and crisp in spots, 2–4 minutes depending on the strength of you broiler. Remove from oven and let chicken rest 5 minutes to allow juices to settle.
- Stir 1 Tbsp. vinegar and 1 cup barbecue sauce in a small bowl with a pastry brush.
- Turn chicken pieces over with tongs. Push onions toward center of baking sheet to form a pile. Paint a generous layer of barbecue sauce over surface of chicken. Using tongs, arrange chicken over onions. Broil until sauce is caramelized in spots, 2–4 minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from oven and turn chicken one more time, placing in same position as before, only sauced side down (the skin should be facing up). Paint skin sides of chicken generously with barbecue sauce mixture (you most likely won’t use all of it). Return to top rack and broil until skin is bubbling and charred in spots, about 4 minutes.
- Let rest 5–10 minutes. Serve chicken over onions with remaining barbecue sauce mixture.