Yes. You read that right. This crispy oven baked bbq chicken recipe uses only TWO INGREDIENTS – barbecue sauce and chicken (plus a little olive oil, salt, and pepper) – to make the crispiest, most perfectly glazed, sweet, sticky, and tender barbecue baked chicken you will ever have.
For folks like me who don’t (yet) have a grill, or for days when the weather isn’t nice enough for outdoor grillin’, this method uses a special trick (inspired by the Pioneer Woman) to make sure the barbecue sauce glaze thickly coats the chicken, with the perfect amount of toasted black parts on the crispy skin. YUM!
Also, Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate today! Nothing says “Easter” like barbecue chicken… right?
So, about this Easter BBQ chicken. Zach and I are are lucky couple; he grew up Catholic, and I grew up Greek Orthodox. We usually have two separate Easter dates (usually, Eastern and Western Easters are celebrated on different dates- if you want to, you can read more about it here), so we celebrate both (and therefore get to eat twice the amazing food!).
Last year, we celebrated Easter with his side of the family in Texas. Every year, they go to his grandparents’ farm (where, by the way, there are cows and BABY COWS. Baby cows frolicking in fields of bluebonnets. What more could you want?!) and have barbecue chicken, put out especially for Easter by the Knights of Columbus in their small town.
Since we are up in Massachusetts this year for Easter and will be celebrating Greek Easter (Greester!) with my family next weekend, I made Crispy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken for just us today.
And yes, since you asked, that whole plate of chicken is just for us. PLUS, we had this German potato salad and steamed buttery green beans. It may not be Greek Easter yet, but that didn’t stop me from cooking enough food to feed an army, in true Greek fashion.
Over preparedness of food runs in my blood. I cannot help it.
Oh boy, this was a good meal. I may just have to visit the fridge for leftovers in a few moments- I’m getting hungry again writing about it all!
Now for the special trick to make the thickest glaze possible in your oven. When grilling chicken, it is usually basted frequently with sauce throughout the cooking process. The same technique is used for this recipe: after initially baking for 25 minutes, the chicken is basted in sauce, cooked for another 7 minutes at a higher temperature, basted in sauce, cooked for another 7 minutes, basted in MORE sauce, and cooked for another 7 minutes or until it’s done.
The three layer baste is what works magic here- with each layer, the sauce thickens and adheres to the chicken, and by the time you are done with the third layer you have created a thick, glorious glaze of barbecue sauce atop the perfectly crispy skin.
Skin not getting crispy enough for your Crispy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken? Here are some ways to troubleshoot.
- The easiest solution is to broil the chicken for an extra few minutes at the end. Keep an eye on it- you don’t want it to burn! But you DO want some of those blackened, charred parts. Yum. Delicious.
- You can put the chicken on a baking rack nestled in the rimmed baking sheet, if you want. This will elevate it and cause air to circulate around the whole piece, rather than having it sit in the juices. If you do this, just keep it skin-side up the whole time- no need to flip!
- Also, keep in mind- since these chicken pieces are glazed in lots of sauce, it won’t get quite as crispy as your traditional roast, skin-on chicken. If you’re expecting that cracker-like consistency, you should lower your expectations just a tad :-)
I suggest you use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks for this recipe. Chicken on the bone takes a bit longer to cook but is always juicier than boneless, and keeping the skin on will give you the yummy, crispy skin that tastes just so delicious.
Plus, dark meat is significantly less expensive than light meat. That said, you can certainly use this method with boneless, skinless chicken breasts or another cut for a lower fat option (cook for less time if you choose to do this).
I used some barbecue sauce I brought back with me from our last Texas trip from Salt Lick BBQ. You can use your favorite barbecue sauce, whether homemade or store-bought (and if you’re looking for one, here’s a yummy looking one!).
You will need a fork and knife to eat this. Or, at least 3 full paper towels if you use your hands. Prepare yourself for finger-licking deliciousness… and it took almost no effort at all!
PS: I cannot recommend enough using a Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baker’s Half Sheet to make this, and to roast literally anything you want. I have two and they are the ONLY baking sheets I will EVER use.
They are super sturdy, so they don’t buckle when the temperature changes (it’s the scariest thing ever when hot oil splatters when your pan buckles!). They conduct heat well to make sure that your food is well cooked on the top and bottom, and they are really good at being non-stick, even though they don’t have any non-stick coating (it’s all natural!). PLUS, they are only around $12! Go get one!
If you prefer to bake the chicken on a rack, so it doesn’t sit in the juices the whole time and crisps up a bit better, this rack nestles in perfectly to the rimmed baking sheet (see recipe notes for tips on getting the skin extra crispy).
Here’s the printable recipe for Two Ingredient Crispy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken!
Two Ingredient Crispy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken
This recipe uses only TWO INGREDIENTS – barbecue sauce and chicken (plus a little olive oil, salt, and pepper) – to make the crispiest, most perfectly glazed, sweet, sticky, and tender barbecue baked chicken you will ever have.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 4
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Coat the chicken on all sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven and turn the temperature of the oven up to 425 degrees.
- Coat the top of the chicken with barbecue sauce using a basting brush. Use a spatula to flip the chicken over, being careful not to tear the skin. Baste the other side of the chicken, and place back in the oven for 7 minutes.
- Remove from oven, baste top with barbecue sauce, and place back in oven for 7 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven again and baste again, and place back in oven for 7 more minutes or until chicken is crispy, parts are blackened, and it’s fully cooked.
- Chicken not crisping up to your liking? Try broiling it for a few minutes at the end.
- You can also place the chicken skin side up from the beginning (skip the first, skin side down step) on a baking rack nestled into a rimmed baking sheet, to elevate it so it’s not sitting in its juices, resulting in more crispiness all around (and less fat!).
- I do my best to provide accurate nutrition information for my recipes, but I am not a nutritionist. The provided nutrition information is my best estimate. It does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.
- Serving Size: 2 pieces of chicken
- Calories: 430
- Sugar: 32.6 g
- Sodium: 1461 mg
- Fat: 18.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 45.3 g
- Fiber: .8 g
- Protein: 18.5 g
- Cholesterol: 69 mg