September 25, 2011

Sweet and Tangy Oven-Barbecued Chicken

Are you a meat cutter, like me?  I always always have to cut into my meat to see if it is done, especially chicken.  After seeing these pictures, I was at the store yesterday with an instant read thermometer in my hand.  I was ready to buy it and then I thought to myself - Can I really trust this thermometer?  Or would I still end up cutting into the meat to make sure the thermometer is working right?  I have a fear of raw chicken?  I just know that if I was to bite into undercooked chicken, it would ruin chicken for me forever and since I eat so much chicken, it would pretty much take away 80% of my main dishes.  I really try to not overcook my chicken, because dry chicken is pretty bad too, but I definitely don't want undercooked.  Anyway, I didn't end up buying that instant read thermometer, but I think I might go back and get it and give it a try?  Ha Ha!
Sweet and Tangy Oven-Barbecued Chicken
adapted from:  America's Test Kitchen 
(Printable Recipe)

1 c. ketchup
3 Tbl. mild or original molasses (I didn't add)
3 Tbl. cider vinegar
2 Tbl. finely grated onion (using small side of box grater)
2 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbl. Dijon mustard
2 Tbl. real maple syrup (I didn't add)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 (5-6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
table salt and ground black pepper
1 Tbl. vegetable oil

1.  Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position, about 5 inches from the heating element and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, onion, Worcestershire, mustard, maple syrup, chili powder and cayenne together in a small bowl; set aside.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  
2.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over high heat.  Add the chicken, smooth side down, and cook until very light golden, 1-2 minutes; using tongs, turn the chicken and cook until very light golden on the second side, 1-2 minutes longer.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
3.  Discard the fat in the skillet; off the heat, and add the sauce mixture and using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.  Simmer the sauce over medium heat, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula, until the sauce is thick and glossy and a spatula leaves a clear trail in the sauce, about 4 minutes.  Off the heat, return the chicken to the skillet and turn to coat thickly with the sauce; set the chicken pieces smooth side up and spoon extra sauce over each piece to create a thick coating.  
4.  Place the skillet in the oven and cook until the thickest part of the breasts register 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 8-12 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the oven, turn the oven to broil and heat for 5 minutes.  Once the broiler is heated, place the skillet back in the oven and broil the chicken until the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees, 3-8 minutes longer.  Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk the sauce in the skillet to recombine and transfer to a small bowl.  Serve the chicken, passing the extra sauce separately.  Serves: 4

Jenn's Notes:  I cooked two chicken breasts, but I still made the entire sauce recipe, because I like a lot of extra sauce.  I really liked this chicken and I really liked the homemade barbeque sauce, but you could always use your favorite store-bought sauce and cook it the same way.  Be careful while broiling the chicken, it can go from perfect to overcooked in no time.  I served this with my favorite orzo and my favorite Pumpkin Cornbread.    


  1. Jenn,
    thanks for visiting and following!! Your comment made me LOL! You have SO many wonderful recipes that I can't wait to try and am getting very hungry looking at them. Need to have some breakfast.
    I love that this chicken is BAKED! We're always grilling our BBQ chicken. My husband would love a night off!
    I look forward to more of your recipes!

  2. Hi Jenn,Ur BBQ chicken luks yumm,Sweet and Tangy.Thanks for sharing a supergood recipe.U have wonderul recipes here.Luv then all.

  3. This looks so tasty. And oh my, homemade bbq sauce, I have to try this so that once I live abroad again, I can make my own bbq sauce. Thanks for sharing!!!