Customize Simple, Oven-Baked Barbecue Chicken With Endless Spice Options

barbecue chicken
barbecue chicken - Bhofack2/Getty Images

You don't need a grill to make tasty barbecued chicken. All you need is an oven and a willingness to try some spice. Unlike ribs or brisket, barbecue chicken doesn't require a long, slow cook to get tender, so the name "barbecue," mostly refers to the flavors associated with it: smoke and sauce. That makes it the ideal candidate to get the barbecue treatment in the oven. Roasted chicken can take on some char and get plenty juicy before being slathered with sauce for an easy and satisfying dinner. But barbecue sauce alone can only do so much. Without a grill's smoke, you'll need something else to add more depth and personality to your chicken. That's where adding a spice blend, and customizing your own mix, can help

Our oven-baked BBQ chicken recipe uses a spice mixture of smoked paprika, onion and garlic powders, and oregano, to bring some more flavor to a relatively simple dish. Store-bought barbecue sauce is convenient and plenty tasty often, but it can be relatively one note, leaning heavily on sweetness and a little tang. Spice mixes let you bring an undertone of other notes like spice, pepper, earthiness, or whatever else you would like, which will make your chicken more satisfying by adding balance and complexity. The variety of spices you have, and the ease of mixing them, also means it's a great way to put a personal spin on an otherwise straightforward meal.

Read more: Styles Of Regional BBQ In The US

Barbecue Chicken Gets A Flavor Upgrade With A Custom Spice Blend.

spice blend ingredients
spice blend ingredients -

Spice blends don't need to be complicated to add plenty of flavor; you just need to know what you want. Does your barbecue sauce have a lot of sugar? Even that out with savory flavors like garlic powder, mustard, cumin, or turmeric. Spicy additions can be used to wake up dull flavors or add some real heat, depending on how much you use. Cayenne is a given, but chili powder, chipotle powder, or even things like ginger can add some bite to your chicken if you want it. And of course, some spices, like the paprika in our recipe, can even help add more smoky flavors to your oven barbecue. Aleppo peppers will add a mild heat and smoked flavor, as will some chile powders like ancho. You can even swap out your standard salt for smoked salt.

Don't be afraid to lean on premade spice mixes either, as there is such a wide variety that they can be an easy way to customize your barbecue chicken. If you want a southwestern flavor, taco seasoning can easily be repurposed for chicken. Garam masala is packed with warm spices that will complement molasses-based barbecue sauce while still giving it a twist. And herb mixes that include things like sage and rosemary are also natural partners with chicken, and they'll bring a brighter flavor that most barbecue sauces are missing. Every option is easy, and they all make your barbecue chicken better.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.