Smoky Spicy Molasses BBQ Chicken Recipe | Yummly

Smoky Spicy Molasses BBQ Chicken

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Smoky Spicy Molasses BBQ Chicken

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While her native South Carolina is known for mustard-based barbecue, food writer Amethyst Ganaway especially loves sticky sweet and spicy chicken with a molasses and tomato sauce. And because she’s not always game for firing up the grill, she figured out a way to make her favorite chicken in the oven, with barbecue sauce just the way she likes it. It’s a meal with a lot less mess and work than the typical southern cookout, but all the flavor. The recipe is a Yummly original created by Amethyst Ganaway.


  • 1 cup ketchup (10 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses (or use regular unsulphured molasses)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (if you like it less spicy, use 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder (divided)
  • 3 lb. chicken (whole chicken cut into pieces, or chicken parts of your choice, at room temperature)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (neutral-flavored)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
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    1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, mix ketchup, molasses, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the cayenne, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded together and sauce thickens, 15-20 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, place chicken in a baking or roasting dish about 9x13 inches, and coat with oil. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder with the onion powder and mustard. Sprinkle all over chicken. Arrange chicken skin side down and bake for 15 minutes.
    3. Using a pastry brush or silicone brush, coat the top side of the chicken with a bit of the bbq sauce, using about one-quarter of it, so that pieces are covered well. Cook skin side down for an additional 15 minutes.
    4. Flip chicken so the skin side is up, and coat each piece well with some bbq sauce. Increase the oven to 400°. Every 5-8 minutes, coat chicken with more of the sauce to your desired thickness (I do about 4 coats). Increase oven temperature to 500° or use your top broiler option. Finish cooking chicken until the sauce is thick, the chicken has some char, and the meat reaches 165° in the thickest part. Cooking time should be about 1 hour total.
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    NutritionView More

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    Calories460Calories from Fat100
    Total Fat11g17%
    Saturated Fat3g15%
    Trans Fat0g
    Calories from Fat100
    Total Carbohydrate33g11%
    Dietary Fiber0g0%
    Vitamin A15%
    Vitamin C15%

    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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    Reviewer Profile Image
    Yummly User a year ago
    The Chicken was delicious
    Reviewer Profile Image
    Yummly User a year ago
    Yessss! I found a delicious oven-baked BBQ chicken! It's tangy and spicy, and I will make it again. Even hubs liked it, and he's not really a fan of "bird" unless it's fried!
    Reviewer Profile Image
    Yummly User 2 years ago
    I thought it was great. Not amazing, but great. Keep in mind that the cooking time may not need to be as long for skinnier pieces of chicken.
    Reviewer Profile Image
    Yummly User 2 years ago
    We loved the flavor from the sauce. Great recipe!
    Reviewer Profile Image
    Yummly User 2 years ago
    Great, even better with a splash of bourbon in the sauce!
    Reviewer Profile Image
    Yummly User 2 years ago
    Excellent flavor and perfect timing for the chicken to fall off the bone. Will definitely be making this regularly!