Think of a weekend get-together and one of the first things that comes to your mind is a barbecue. Many of us don't have pits or grills but your good old oven can surely come in handy in such a situation. Making barbecue chicken in an oven is not only easy but will taste just as good.
To be honest, no recipe can exactly replicate the taste of outdoor grilled barbecue chicken but using an oven to cook the below given recipes will get you mighty close.
Now, you may ask what about the distinct smoky aroma that any grilled chicken or foodstuff possesses? Well, adding a dash of liquid smoke to the marinate or gravy will do the trick. A point to remember before we begin, not all ovens are the same and, the time and temperature provided in any recipe will have to be adjusted according to your oven.
- Whole chicken, 1
- Barbecue sauce, 6 ounces
- Garlic cloves, 4-5
- Lemons, 2-3
- Mixed dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil), 1 teaspoon
- Garlic powder, ½ teaspoon
- Onion powder, ½ teaspoon
- A sprig of fresh rosemary
- Grate a lemon's zest. In a large bowl, squeeze out all the lemon juice and keep the squeezed lemon halves aside for further use.
- Add the lemon zest to lemon juice along with barbecue sauce (don't use all the sauce) and mixed dried herbs.
- Place the chicken in a baking tray. Rub the outer part of the chicken with onion powder, garlic powder and the squeezed lemon halves. Keep these lemon halves on either sides of the chicken in the baking tray.
- Stuff the cavity of the chicken with zest, mashed garlic cloves and rosemary sprig. Tie the chicken legs together using a string.
- Bake in a 350º F preheated oven for 5 minutes. Turn down the oven to 180º F and bake for another 60 minutes; keep checking once in a while.
- Baste the chicken with barbecue sauce every 10 minutes. Once done, remove the chicken from the oven and untie its legs.
- Remove all the stuffing from the cavity and discard the lemon halves. If there are any fats or juices left in the tray, reduce them over medium heat in a sauce pan and pour over the chicken.
Barbecuing Chicken Parts
The above given recipe to barbecue a whole chicken in the oven can be tweaked for individual chicken parts too. A few changes, in the oven settings and the sauce proportion will have to be made.
→ Wings: Barbecuing chicken wings is the easiest. They take little time to bake and are second best when it comes to absorbing sauces and seasonings after chicken breast. For barbecuing chicken wings in an oven, the oven must be preheated to 450º F and the wings should be baked for about 30-35 minutes. Baste the wings with sauce only for the last 10 minutes.
→ Thighs: For barbecuing chicken thighs in an oven, the oven must be preheated to 350º F and the thighs should be wrapped in aluminum foil before baking them for about 60 minutes. Remove the thighs from the foil and bake them again for about 15 minutes at 180º F, basting the thighs with sauce every 3-4 minutes.
→ Breasts: The oven must be preheated to 350º F and the breasts should be baked for about 20-25 minutes at 170º F. Baste the breasts with sauce only for the last 10 minutes.
→ Assorted: Assorted parts of chicken need extra attention while barbecuing, since every part needs different techniques and different amount of time to cook in the oven. Hence, it is always advisable to cut assorted chicken parts in equal pieces. This way, the time required to cook all the pieces would be same and they will be evenly barbecued.
To do this, the oven must be preheated to 350º F and the chicken pieces should be baked for about 40-45 minutes. Baste the pieces with sauce every 5 minutes after they are put in the oven. To moisten the chicken pieces and quicken up the baking process, you can sprinkle about a teaspoon of white wine vinegar on them, prior to arranging them in the baking tray.
Recipes From Far-Away Lands
Although barbecue is more popular in western countries, barbecued chicken is a craze all over the world. The techniques and recipes vary greatly according to different regions. While equatorial regions in Central Africa create roasting pits in hot sand on the ground, the Indian subcontinent uses a baking and grilling equivalent of an oven called the tandoor (clay oven).
Some communities in the Alps use a grilling technique called Pierrade, which involves the use of hot stone to grill meats. The Mangal style of grilling used in the Middle East involves a hot rack of steel and skewers on which meat is hung while the skewers are placed on the hot rack.
Procedure For Oriental BBQ Wings
- Chicken wings, 2 pounds
- Toasted sesame seeds, 2 teaspoon
- Minced ginger, garlic and green chili, 1 teaspoon
- Honey, ½ teaspoon
- Hoisin sauce, ½ teaspoon
- Light soy sauce, ⅛ teaspoon
- Teriyaki sauce, ⅛ teaspoon
- Handful of chopped green onion leaves
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and minced ginger-garlic-chili. Marinate chicken wings in it for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven at 350º F and bake for about 10-15 minutes.
- In a bowl, combine honey and hoisin sauce to prepare the glazing for the wings.
- Turn down the oven to 180º F. Brush the top of the wings with the honey and hoisin sauce glaze and continue baking for 10 minutes or until the honey in the glaze caramelizes.
- Once done, serve in a plate garnished with chopped green onion leaves and toasted sesame seeds.
Procedure For Jerk Chicken
- Whole chicken, cut into equal pieces, 2 pounds
- Brown sugar, 1¼ cup
- Vegetable oil, ¼ cup
- Onion powder, 1¼ teaspoon
- Allspice powder, 1 teaspoon
- Ginger powder, ½ teaspoon
- Garlic powder, ½ teaspoon
- Black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon
- Nutmeg powder, ¼ teaspoon
- Cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon
- Ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon
- Dried thyme leaves, ¼ teaspoon
- To prepare jerk seasoning, combine together all ingredients except chicken and vegetable oil, mix it well.
- Rub the chicken pieces with the jerk seasoning. Let it rest for about 30-40 minutes.
- Pour oil into a baking tray and place the marinated chicken pieces in it.
- Bake in a preheated (350º F) oven for about 60-65 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 160º F and bake for another 15 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with a lime wedge on the side.
Procedure For Arabic Shish Tawook
- Chicken breast, 2 pounds
- Vegetable oil, 2 cups
- Juice of 2 medium-sized lemon
- Garlic (mashed), 8-10 cloves
- Olive oil, 6 tablespoons
- Plain yogurt, 5 tablespoons
- Apple cider, 2 tablespoons
- Egg white, 1
- Nutmeg powder, ginger powder, dried oregano, paprika and white pepper powder, ⅓ teaspoon each
- Salt to taste
- Squeeze a lemon on the chicken pieces. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together the garlic, vegetable oil, juice of 1 lemon, egg whites and some salt.
- In a large bowl, mix yogurt, apple cider, nutmeg powder, ginger powder, oregano, paprika, white pepper powder and the garlic blend.
- Put the chicken pieces in this marinade and coat them well. Let the chicken pieces marinate for 30 minutes.
- Pierce the chicken using wooden or metal skewers and bake in a preheated (350º F) oven for about 60-65 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with pita bread.
Procedure For Peri Peri Chicken
- Chicken drumsticks, 6
- Scotch Bonnet or Habanero peppers, 2-3
- Olive oil, 4 tablespoons
- Garlic powder, 1 tablespoon
- Paprika, 2 teaspoons
- Sea salt
- Blend all ingredients except drumsticks in a blender.
- Using a kitchen knife making incisions on the chicken and rub the blended paste on it. Season with some salt and let it rest for at least 60-65 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400º F. Brush the base of a baking tray with oil (vegetable or olive oil) and place the drumsticks in it.
- Retain the sauce that the drumsticks were marinated in. Bake the drumsticks for about 15 minutes and flip them over.
- Smother the remaining sauce and bake for another 15 minutes. Keep turning the chicken on all sides and basting it with sauce until it is brown all over.
- Garnish with a blob of butter and some leaves of mint and cilantro.
Procedure For Tandoori Chicken
- Chicken (cut into pieces - drumsticks intact), 3 pounds
- Plain yogurt, 8 ounces
- Lemon juice, 3 tablespoons
- Garlic-ginger-green chillies paste, 2 tablespoons
- Cayenne pepper powder, 5 teaspoons
- Black pepper powder, cinnamon powder and cumin powder, 2 teaspoons
- A pinch each of nutmeg powder and salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the chicken pieces to make the marinade for the chicken.
- Make small incisions on both sides of the chicken pieces using a knife. In a large ziploc bag, put these pieces and pour the marinade over them. You can divide the chicken pieces into two batches and use two ziploc bags to marinate them if a large bag with all pieces in it gets too clumsy to work with.
- Close the ziploc tightly and using a rolling-pin gently roll over the bag from both sides. Give the bag a good shake and refrigerate for about 8-10 hours.
- Keep turning the bag on both its sides every 3 hours. After about 8-10 hours of marination, take the bag out of the refrigerator and let it thaw.
- Grease the base of a large baking tray with a little ghee (clarified butter) or unsalted butter. Arrange the chicken pieces in the tray and roast them in a preheated oven (400º F).
- Keep checking on the chicken and turning it over after the first 15 minutes.
- After about 35-40 minutes, turn off the oven but keep the chicken in it for at least 15 minutes. Do not open the oven and let the chicken remain inside.
- Once the pieces start acquiring chargrill spots serve on a plate with red onions marinated in vinegar and a wedge of lemon.
Tips for a Yummy Grill
• Although chicken skin contains a lot of fat, it also acts as a great pocket to hold the marinade or spice rubs. If grilled correctly, the skin gives a nice crispy texture to the chicken. De-skinned chicken tastes just as good as the one with skin on the outside.
• When grilling an entire chicken, always use a thermometer to estimate if its grilled/roasted properly. The internal temperature of the bird should be around 180º F - 200º F.
• The longer the chicken is marinated, the better it will taste.
• Chicken (raw or marinated) should always be thawed before placing it into the oven, else there is a chance of the chicken staying raw or lukewarm from inside. As chicken on bone takes longer to cook, it should be given more time in the oven than boneless chicken.