If you really want to blow the doors off your dinner guests, then this Kansas BBQ Chicken recipe is going to do it. The chicken marinates in a homemade marinade for at least 24 hours and is basted on the grill with the most epic homemade Kansas City type BBQ sauce. It takes some prep and time for this recipe, but your life will never be the same again.
Summer is here, and that means it’s time to fire up the grill and enjoy some delicious BBQ chicken and I am being totally honest here, this chicken is mind-blowingly good. It does require some prep, so let’s get to it.
Before we dive into the preparation of the homemade BBQ sauce, let’s take a closer look at the Italian dressing marinade that the chicken will be bathing in for 24 hours or more.
It’s simple to make it in either a mason jar for that ultra shaking action or even a small food processor to emulsify the dressing.
- Dry Mustard
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Onion Powder
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt and Pepper
How to Prepare the Chicken:
- Rinse the chicken under cool water, pat dry and trim any excess skin or fat off the chicken and place the thighs or breasts in a glass baking dish.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken and move the chicken around ensuring all the pieces are fully coated in the marinade.
- This full bodied marinade will infuse the chicken overnight, so it’s best that it marinates at least 24 hours, I’ve gone as long as 48.
Grill to Perfection:
After marinating your chicken thighs overnight, it’s time to grill them to achieve that perfect char and crispy skin.
- First, preheat your grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates to prevent sticking.
- Take the chicken out at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Place your chicken thighs on the grill with the skin side down first. Avoid overcrowding the grill to ensure even cooking.
- Grilled BBQ chicken is first cooked at a high heat to sear it, then flipped and moved to a cooler part of the grill at a lower heat to finish cooking so the outside skin doesn’t burn. It takes approximately 35-40 minutes to fully cook bone in chicken thighs or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F.
- Be careful not to start basting with the BBQ sauce too soon, otherwise it can burn. I like to start basting after the chicken is almost fully cooked and I return it to the hotter side of the grill.
- To get those perfect grill marks, rotate the chicken 90 degrees halfway through cooking each side.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, as cutting into the chicken will release its juices and dry it out.
- Once your chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicy and flavorful bite.
After putting in all the effort to create this amazing BBQ chicken, you want to ensure that it’s served just as perfectly. Here are some serving suggestions to get the most of your delicious creation:
- Pair your grilled BBQ chicken with some classic sides like potato salad, coleslaw, and baked beans. These traditional BBQ favorites will perfectly complement the juicy, smoky flavors of the chicken.
- For a fresher twist, serve your chicken with a crisp green salad or grilled vegetables like squash, peppers, and zucchini. The contrast of the cool, fresh greens and the hot, savory chicken will create an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
- If you’re looking to impress your guests, consider serving your grilled BBQ chicken on a wooden board or platter garnished with fresh herbs, lemon wedges, and sliced vegetables. This simple yet elegant presentation will elevate your dish to a whole new level.
KANSAS CITY BBQ CHICKEN RECIPE
Like this recipe? Pin it to your CHICKEN board!
- 8 Chicken Thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 – 1 ½ Cups Italian dressing, recipe below
- Homemade BBQ Sauce, recipe below
- 1 Tablespoon Dry Mustard
- 1 Cloves, Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 teaspoon Basil
- ½ teaspoon Oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Paprika
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- ½ Cup Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 Cup Ketchup
- ½ Cup Water
- ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- ¼ Tablespoon Black Pepper
- ½ Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ½ Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Butter
- 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
- ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- Begin by mixing all the ingredients for the Italian dressing in a bowl, EXCEPT the oil. Slowly whisk the oil in and the dressing will become thicker and emulsified. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary. Set aside.
- Trim any excess skin or fat off the chicken thighs and place them in a glass dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Prepare your grill by heating it to a medium/high temperature.
- Place the chicken skin side down on a clean, well greased grill over a high flame. Cover and cook approximately 10 minutes or until there is a nice sear on the chicken. You may need to move the chicken to avoid flare ups. So keep an eye on it. Flip the chicken and cook the other side at a lower temperature to finish cooking the chicken on the inside.
- Brush the chicken liberally with the BBQ sauce and continue flipping and/or moving the chicken around the grill until the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F.
FOR THE BBQ SAUCE:
- Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring often for 30 minutes. It will thicken as it cools.
NOTE: I recommend making the BBQ sauce the same day as the marinade and allow to cool and refrigerate.