Barbecue sauces are a delicious and easy way to flavor chicken or other meats before you cook them. While a marinade won't tenderize the meat, the sauce does soak flavor into the chicken, ensuring that every bite is full of flavor and juiciness. Start by mixing up a tasty barbecue sauce and then use it to cover the chicken and marinate it until you're ready to cook it.
Start with a few basic ingredients for a barbecue sauce marinade. You'll need an acidic ingredient to preserve the meat; something like garlic or a savory sauce, to give the marinade some punch; and oil to ensure the sauce fully coats the chicken and keeps it moist.
There are many different barbecue sauces that can be used to marinate chicken, so experiment with a variety of options. A barbecue marinade made with hoisin sauce and soy sauce creates an Asian-inspired sauce. You can use juices like orange, lemon or lime to lend a citrus zing to your barbecue sauce. Experiment with other herbs and spices for different flavors as well.
Once you've mixed up the tasty barbecue sauce of your choice, place the chicken in a bag or container that can be sealed. Add the barbecue sauce marinade so it fully covers the chicken and seal the bag or add the lid to the container. You'll want to marinate the chicken for at least an hour in the refrigerator, but you'll get the best flavor if you marinate it for about 4 hours.
For the most efficient use of a marinade, add it and the chicken to a sealed bag when marinating. You don't need as much to fully cover the chicken and it takes up less room in the refrigerator.
Once marinated, you can cook barbecue chicken a number of ways. Grill it on medium heat for about 30 minutes or add it to a slow cooker on low heat for 6 hours. Or try oven-baked barbecue chicken by putting it in a baking dish and baking at 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes. Regardless of which way you cook the chicken, add extra barbecue sauce to the dish to keep the chicken moist and flavorful.
Reserve some of the barbecue sauce separate from the marinated raw chicken and use that sauce to baste as it cooks. Basting with the sauce that was left in the marinating container is unsafe as that sauce may be contaminated with bacteria.