BBQ Chicken Recipes, Easy and Simple

It’s "living room friendly."
Easy to eat with great flavor.

BBQ chicken recipes are usually reserved for the backyard grill master, with great bone-in chicken and lots of yummy sauce. Hey, nothing’s wrong with that.

But we were thinking more of an indoor party, with great tasting chicken and sauce that is just easier to eat.

So here it is, boneless, bite size pieces of tender chicken with a nice sauce that's simple to make.

Best of all, this is another inexpensive meal. The chicken thighs and breasts can be bought well ahead of time (on sale!) and frozen until you need them.


This recipe will feed 50 people as an entree, if you are you are serving other entrees and/or appetizers. Remember that your guests are going to eat a little over a pound of food per person for dinner.

Read about Party Food Quantities and how to plan the right amounts.

Shopping List for 50 People:

___5 pounds of boneless chicken thighs

___5 pounds of boneless chicken breasts

___2 – 12 ounce jars of honey, cheap is fine

___64 ounces of tomato sauce.

___64 ounces of BBQ sauce.

___Small can or two of tomato paste, if you want a thicker sauce, or substitute a pasta sauce for the tomato sauce, or both.

___Salt, pepper and garlic powder

___Frank’s Hot Sauce, very small amount

___oil for frying, a quart should do

___4 disposable aluminum pans 10”x12¾”x2½”


___2 bunches of fresh curly parsley


On the Day of the Party:

The BBQ Sauce:

In a large saucepan, combine all the tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and honey. Add just a couple drops of hot sauce. Mix well, and put on very low heat on the stove. When is warmed through, cover and remove from the heat. You may want to warm and up again just before serving.

If the sauce is to thin for your taste, go ahead an add some tomato paste - it should the desired effect right away.

TIP: When the chicken is served on your buffet table, put the bottle of hot sauce near the dish. This way your guests can fire up their chicken if they want to.


Unwrap the packages of chicken thighs and chicken breasts, washing the chicken under running cold water.

Pull off the skin and any leftover pieces of fat or bone.

Using your washable cutting board and a sharp knife, cut the chicken into pieces around 2” long by ¾” around or so. The idea here is for your guests to be able to cut each piece of chicken just once.

Don’t let a lot of cut chicken accumulate in your work area. Refrigerate it as soon as it’s cut. When the chicken is all cut and refrigerated, pour 1/4” of frying oil into a large frying pan and heat until very hot, around 350°. Click here to check about thermometers.

On your work surface, layout as much chicken as will fit in your frying pan. Leave the rest in the refrigerator. Season each side with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

When the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken. Fry each side for 1½ - 2 minutes. You’re looking for that “golden brown.” We know the chicken is not completely cooked yet. No problem.

When the chicken is fried, place it in a preheated 400°F oven for five to seven minutes. All poultry is finished cooking when the internal temperatures reached 165°F. Only the Thermometer Knows.

Out of the oven? Great! Lay out the four aluminum pans and spray each one with lots of vegetable spray, bottom and sides. Evenly divide the fried chicken into the four pans. Pour the warm sauce into the aluminum pans, equally dividing it.

Carefully stir the chicken around the warm sauce. Don’t puncture the thin aluminum pan or you’ll have mega-mess on your hands (and on everything else too…)

Cover each pan tightly with aluminum foil – shiny side down. Open the oven door and let it cool down to 150°F, keep the pans of chicken tightly covered and let them stay warm right there. Use a simple oven thermometer to keep track, or read it fast with a laser thermometer - just point and shoot. Check it out:

Slick as these lasar units are, remember that they read only surfaces.

They're perfect for lots of things, like checking refrigerators, freezers and ovens.

They are wonderful for picnics, to make sure foods are staying cold. Keep an eye on the food even from a distance!

Cooking oils and water temps are easy to read too.

You'll want to use a piercing thermometer to make sure food is fully cooked, because piercing units read the internal temp.

That internal temperature is what you need to answer that all important question: "Is it done?"

This Bonjour Thermometer has both a lasar and a piercing probe!

Presentation: Your Eyes Eat First

You’ll probably be serving one or two pans of chicken at a time in your chafing dish. Learn about chafing dishes and food warmers.


When you’re ready to serve, remove one or two pans from the warm oven, uncover and spread some of the parsley around the top of each pan. Take a little time and make this look very nice.

TIP: Cover the warm chicken with film, removing just before guests arrive at the buffet.

Keep the remaining chicken warm in the oven or in another chafing dish.


This dish freezes very well. Package the leftover chicken into zip-lock bags, squeeze out the air and seal. Be sure to cook the chicken fully to 165° when reheating.

Ready for some more Dinner Party recipes?

How about some Salads?

Find an Appetizer that will go with BBQ Chicken

Questions about our BBQ Chicken? Need an idea for your party? Use the form below to ask us about quantities, substitutions, whatever. We're here to help. Ask a Caterer is free:

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