Chicken breasts may be the more popular option to make chicken, but when you add barbecue sauce to it, there’s only one way to go, and that’s by using chicken thighs. Since chicken thighs have dark meat, they have a better flavor and won’t dry out as much as a chicken breast would. That is why chicken thighs pair so well with any sort of sauce, giving it the ultimate flavor.
Recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge came up with this fantastic recipe that will undoubtedly hit the spot. "My favorite thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make. The ingredients are simple, and the instructions are straightforward. You can never go wrong with bog-standard BBQ chicken," Olayinka says. She also happens to love the versatility of the recipe, noting that it’s pretty customizable. "You can change up the spices to suit your taste or can make it a bit spicier by adding cayenne pepper," she explains. "We are big BBQ flavor fans in our house and opt for that flavor whenever we order chicken!"
Gather the ingredients for this oven-baked BBQ chicken
To make this oven-baked BBQ chicken, you will only need a few items from the store. Pick up chicken thighs, avocado oil, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, and store-bought barbecue sauce.
Preheat the oven and mix the chicken and spices
As the recipe title indicates, you will bake this chicken, which means you need to use your oven. Turn your range to 375 F and let it preheat while you do the rest of the prep work.
In the meantime, grab a large mixing bowl and add the chicken thighs first. Next, drizzle in the olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried oregano. Mix to coat the chicken in the melody of spices.
Bake the chicken
Select a baking tray that’s big enough to hold all of your ingredients. Take your spiced-up chicken thighs and place them on the baking tray with the skin-side down. Pop the tray in the oven for about 30 minutes, and once your timer dings, remove the chicken from the oven and drain the oil and discard. Then, flip each thigh over.
"The only thing to watch out for is making sure the chicken is cooked through before adding the sauce," Olayinka shares. "You don’t want to overcook the chicken, or the sauce will burn."
Add the barbecue sauce and broil
Use a pastry brush to apply the barbecue sauce all over the chicken thighs. Then, pop the tray back into the oven on the top rack. Turn the oven to the broil setting and cook for 2 to 4 minutes to allow the barbecue sauce to caramelize.
"The special method is in the broiling after the chicken goes in the oven, to get the perfect char without overcooking the chicken. This creates a delicious crust that helps lock in all the amazing barbecue flavor," Olayinka shares.
Let the chicken rest, then serve
Once you remove the chicken thighs from the oven, let them rest and cool down for about 5 minutes before you serve. "My favorite way to serve this dish is with a simple green salad and some roasted potatoes," Olayinka shares. "The chicken is so flavorful that it doesn’t need much else! But it would also be great with some coleslaw or a simple pasta salad."
If you have leftovers, don’t sweat it. "This dish can be kept for leftovers and reheated in the oven or microwave," Olayinka notes. "Just make sure the chicken is cooked through before reheating. You can also add more barbecue sauce before reheating to help keep the chicken moist."
- 8 chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or any high-heat oil)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 cup store-bought barbecue sauce
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Place the chicken thighs into a mixing bowl, and add the oil to it followed by the salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried oregano. Mix together.
- Get a baking tray ready and take each chicken thigh and place it onto the baking tray, skin-side down.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove tray from the oven, drain and discard of the oil, then turn each chicken thigh over so that it is skin-side up.
- Use a pastry brush to apply the store-bought barbecue sauce all over each chicken thigh.
- Place the tray back into the oven on a high rack and broil for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce starts to caramelize.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.