Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hot Barbecue Chicken

The other day, my sister and I were talking with one of the many kids my mom "adopted" over the years about how she cooked for us. The discussion of her infamous hot barbecued chicken came up. This recipe is a two-parter and I'll get to that in just a minute, but you have to understand the story behind this sauce.

In the 70's and 80's, Kraft made a "Hot Barbecue" sauce that my mother used on her fried chicken. Unfortunately, like many things, they stopped making it. My mother had to improvise - which wasn't tough for her, but she never felt like it tasted the same. She always started out with a foundation of Kraft barbecue sauce (as do I) and she doctored it from there. Over the years since my mom's death, I've worked very hard to duplicate the sauce and I think I've got it figured out. There are considerably more ingredients in mine than hers, but my mom was a purist in the kitchen. She didn't use a lot of spices beyond salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic or cayenne here and there. The spices I use, however, are typical of what's usually in my cupboard...of the cupboards of anyone who does any amount of cooking whatsoever. If not, they're easily obtained from your local supermarket.

When mom made this BBQ chicken, it took your breath away. Literally. She baked the chicken in the sauce, so when you opened the oven door, the spicy heat from the sauce floods your senses and momentarily causes you to lose your breath. It's absolutely intoxicating.

Now, I will warn you, this shit is hot. Like, HOT hot. It's not for the meek. It's definitely not for those who think ketchup is spicy. I started eating it when I was 4 years old, but I don't recommend it for kids (my mom was a little nuts. lol). But it's my favorite sauce of all time. My advice? Have plenty of iced tea on hand. You're going to need it.

Story aside, let's get to the recipe!

1 bottle Kraft Original Barbecue sauce
1 bottle Kraft Honey Barbecue sauce
¼ c Louisiana Hot sauce
2 T Vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Garlic powder
2 tsp Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp salt

Combine and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for about an hour. This should make roughly a quart of sauce. It will keep in your fridge for 3-6 months, but I can promise you, it won't last that long.

Fried Chicken

1 whole fryer chicken cut up and rinsed
2-3 c vegetable oil

Marinade/Milk Bath
3 eggs
4 c milk
2 oz Louisiana Hot Sauce

Blend well and soak the chicken pieces in the milk bath 6-12 hours.

6 c flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T seasoned salt
2 T black pepper
1 T cayenne pepper

Take the chicken pieces out of the milk bath and toss in the flour mixture until covered. Put the chicken pieces BACK in the milk bath and then back in the flour again, coating well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot. I don't use a thermometer, but I put it over a medium-high flame and when I put a pinch of flour in the oil and it sizzles, I add the chicken pieces.

You'll have to cook the chicken in batches. I start with the dark meat (thighs and legs) since it takes the longest to cook (13-15 mins total) and retains heat the longest. Then I go to the white meat (breasts and wings) which take about 10-12 mins total. The best way to check the doneness is to cut into the thigh or breast. If the juice that comes out is clear (not pink), it's done. If it's the least bit pink, put it back in the oil and cook longer.

When cooked thoroughly, drain on a baking rack (not paper towels or the breading will get soggy and fall off the chicken).

Once the chicken cools a little bit, carefully dip each piece in the barbecue sauce, coating liberally and put on a wire rack inside a baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350° for about 20 minutes until the sauce has baked into the breading. Let cool a few minutes and serve.


  1. I am going to cook this tomorrow! I'M having a gang over and couldn't decide what to make. Thanks.

  2. You so nailed mom!! To a T!! AND the sauce... it DID "greet" your senses when you came in the door!! I so miss her!! This is just a memory trigger. Anyway, you do a much better job of wriing the recipes than I do. Did you SEE the wild rice soup recipe? LOL

    Anyway, I would have to cook this for company, no one but me would be able to eat it at my house. Thanks for working to recreate it, and for posting it!!