slow-and-low-dry-rub-oven-chicken Recipes

slow-and-low dry rub oven chicken

Five years ago, I fell in love with dry-rub barbecue. Prior to the summer of 2008, I naively believed that the only way to make ribs deliciously on the grill was to mop them with copious amounts of a wet, tomato-based barbecue sauce. I know, I know, silly Deb, but what can you really expect from a Yankee?

making the dry rub
dry rub

Under my friend Molly’s tutelage, I learned the error of my ways. The thing is, no matter how unappealing the word “dry” may sound against meat of any sort, the results are anything but. While a wet sauce just wants to roll or evaporate off your meat as it cooks, the dry rub spices adhere themselves to it, almost crusting in the meltingly tender meat within as it cooks slow-and-low over a the grill. It loses none of its punch, no matter how long it cooks. You might have some barbecue sauce around when you’re done as a dip for the meat, but there’s so much flavor from that spice crust, you probably won’t need it.

dry rub

Three years ago, I learned something even cooler, which is that you can make amazing, excellent, just about falling-off-the-bones (but not quite; go all the way you’ll ire the barbecue gods) ribs in the oven, which was a dream of a revelation for us balcony- and deck-less city dwellers without grills at our disposal. Sure, smoke chambers and natural hardwood charcoal make for dreamy barbecue, but you’ll be amazed by what you can pull off in the oven when they’re not available to you.

brining the chicken
pack the spice rub on thick

(And if we are being completely honest, sometimes when they are. Gasp, WHY DEB, WHY? Guys, maintaining coals and smoker chips at an even temperature for four to five hours straight is an epic amount of work; keeping an oven at 175 to 200 degrees is not. There, I said it and I feel absolutely liberated now by the admission.)

ready to bake, slow and low
dry-rub chicken, not ready yet

Now that all of the serious barbecue folk have left the room, I have got to tell you what I did with these same principles (dry rub, oven-style, no shame) last week: I made chicken. And I can’t believe it took me so long. Using a vinegar brine I’d recommend for any chicken you’re grilling this summer, regardless of cooking time or coating, and the modified dry-rub I’ve tweaked from my existing recipes over the years (less salt and heat than Molly’s; less sugar than McGee’s) I slow-and-low-ed (yeah, I just verb-ed that) my chicken in the oven on a day I’d otherwise be moping* about not having any of those things that are blowing up my social media feeds right now (beach houses/upstate cabins/sparklers or the real luxury: the time to freely indulge in them) and I will not pretend that having it for dinner with a side of slaw, potatoes and this staple salad was the same around our dinner table next to the humming a/c in the window that the other sweaty masses on the avenue below as it would have been on a picnic bench, bare toes in the sand, a big green egg nearby, getting prepped for S’mores O’clock. I mean, let’s not be silly. But for a weekday night when you’re counting down the minutes until your holiday weekend begins, one in which your 3.5 year old utters the magical mythical words, “This is delishish chicken, mommy; can I have more?” it was pretty grand. Even better, it was good enough.

reducing the juices into a sauce
dry-rub chicken, perfect

One year ago: Blackberry Gin Fizz
Two years ago: Flatbreads with Honey, Thyme and Sea Salt
Three years ago: Porch Swing
Four years ago: Cherry Brown Butter Bars
Five years ago: Mango Curd
Six years ago: Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad

Slow-and-Low Dry Rub Oven Chicken

The brine makes your chicken juicier than you ever thought possible; I recommend it for any grilled or oven-roasted chicken dish. The dry rub is my go-to these days, the one I use on my ribs even more often than Molly’s or McGee’s. You’ll have a bit more than you need (it makes 1 heaped cup), but I’d rather you have too much than too little. The technique is mostly adapted from McGee, whose oven ribs lesson I’d been eager to apply to more dishes.

You could cook this chicken longer at a lower temperature for even more flavor and tenderness; the chicken should take 2 to 3 hours at 250 degrees. I didn’t get a chance to test this, but estimate that it can be made in slow-cooker on LOW for 5 to 7 hours.

Brine
4 cups water
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/3 cup white or brown sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar

Dry Rub
6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika
3 tablespoons chili powder
Up to 1 tablespoon ground red pepper (if you like things quite hot) or to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
Up to 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

Chicken
5 1/2 to 6 pounds mixed bone-in skin-on chicken parts (we used 2 small chickens, each in 8 parts)

Sauce
A generous squeeze of honey
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Brine the chicken: In a large plastic container, mix water, salt, sugar and vinegar. Add chicken parts and cover with a lid or plastic wrap in the fridge, for at least 1 hour and up to 6.

Make the rub: Mix ingredients.

Prepare chicken: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Remove chicken parts from brine and pat dry. Place pieces of chicken on two very large pieces of foil, large enough to fold over chicken and form packets. Pat chicken pieces generously on all sides with rub; do not be shy about using more than seems… seemly. Turn the chicken pieces so their meatier sides are down, and tightly fold the foil around them to make two large packets.

Place two cooling racks (which will act as baking racks) on two baking sheets (one on each). Place a chicken packet on each and place one sheet on an upper oven rack and one on a lower. Bake chicken for 1 hour, then rotate baking sheets. Bake for another 30 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the thickest part of each chicken reads 155 degrees. (Chicken is done at 160. This leaves you a little heat window for the next step, without leading to overcooking. If you’d like to skip this, just cook the chicken in foil until it reaches 160.)

Finish the chicken: Heat broiler. Carefully open each packet of chicken and pour accumulated juices into a saucepan (to make a sauce in a minute). Arrange chicken pieces on open foil packets and run each tray under the broiler until lightly crisped at edges and cooked through. Place on serving platter.

Make a sauce* from the juices: Boil your accumulated juices in the saucepan over high heat for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, until it makes a syrupy sauce that coats a spoon. I like to add a squeeze of honey for flavor while it reduces. Once syrupy, add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Serve with chicken.

* I wanted to warn that I love making sauce this way, but it always ends up a bit too salty from all of that reduction. You could use less or simply skip this step, using instead another barbecue sauce of your choosing (this one says “Remember me?!”, should you desire sauce with your chicken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

306 comments on slow-and-low dry rub oven chicken

  1. This sounds awesome! My one question is about brining with Kosher chicken. We keep Kosher, so our chicken is already a bit salty. Do you think that we should skip the brine?

    1. Hi Beth — Sadly, I haven’t worked with Kosher chicken enough to be sure. But I do have even non-Kosher friends who buy it exclusively because they find it to arrive more moist. You might be just fine without the brine.

  2. Dry rub chicken is a favourite down under. The wet mixtures are not well known here, but a shop in Sydney is well known for their spiced dry rub chicken and I have been dying to try to recreate it. I can not wait for my chicken to defrost to try this one!

  3. being able to do this in the slow-cooker is wonderful – no heating up the whole apartment! just may do this, sometime this week.

  4. Beth – I only buy kosher chickens. Don’t brine them, because kashering is effectively a dry-brine process. You lose a little of the extra flavor a brine can give. I’ve tweaked some recipes that add other flavors to the brine (allowing them to sit with the seasonings, Zuni Cafe style–but less salt than she calls for). In this recipe I’d just skip the brining step.

  5. Now, this one sounds divine…! Oh, and I’m in the midst of making your Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting right now for my 15-year-old granddaughter’s birthday. She’s helping me, it her favorite. Uh, mine too. Thanks, Deb!

  6. Ooops…never mind, found the Pin it button. I’ve been following you for a few years now and have your cookbook. I’m just a tech-challenged fan.

  7. Hi Deb,
    Do you think I could pull this off with very firm tofu, or is that just crazy talk? It sounds delish even to my vegetarian palate! Thanks and keep up the great work! S.

  8. a grill is only good for feeding a lot of people in the dog days of summer. I BBQ out the oven more in the winter than in the summer outside.

  9. @Beth
    Skip the salt in the brine. The brining process is pretty crucial to a good dry rub, especially the sugar. The reason a good dry rub isn’t overpowering (spicy, salty, sweet, etc.) is the balance.

    If you don’t brine with the sugar and vinegar and you just have your kosher chicken, then it’ll definitely taste too salty.

  10. Hi Deb! I also always thought a wet sauce was superior but now that we’ve been using more spices and grilling meats simply rubbed in spice mix, I can absolutely see the virtue of dry rub. Being able to bake these sounds great. I bake Thanksgiving turkey in a low oven like that and it’s usually juicy so I imagine the same here.

    (Sorry but can I ask you a question about a recipe in your book? I’d like to make the choc chip pretzels with my 8-yr old and was wondering if we can freeze some of the dough or shaped pretzels if we don’t need all 8 in one sitting? Thank you!!! Sorry if there’s a better forum for questions like this…)

  11. Can’t wait to try this Deb. I l-o-v-e your dry rub for ribs – inspires me to stockpile ribs from Whole Foods in my freezer when they go on sale. My kids have even suggested that the reheated sauce would be pretty fabulous on waffles the next day!

  12. I am wondering if you could skip the wet brine and dry brine (as described by the brilliant Molly Stevens in All About Roasting) along with your dry rub… perhaps an experiment for next weekend!

  13. When you say ground red pepper, do you mean red peppercorns or a chili pepper?

    Also, for the chili powder, do you mean one that has multiple spices in it already pre-mixed or just pure ground chili peppers?

  14. Thank you thank you! I’m a single mom who also does not have a bar-b-que, so I’m thrilled that you’ve given me an opportunity to fake it :). I will most likely try this in the crockpot on a day I’m working to make things easy for myself..I’ll let you know how it turns out. Hopefully my two year old (who used to love chicken and has suddenly become picky about it, turning up his nose at the Asian type chicken I made last week) will love it as well as your own adorable toddler. Excited to try this!

  15. My family would love this. It seems so counterintuitive to cook the chicken for so long, but the lower temp would fix it, I know.

    Might have to add some curry in there somehow…we’re curry hounds over here. =)

  16. If you were to try this in a slow cooker, would you still wrap it in aluminum foil? Would you try to do a make shift cooling rack in the slow cooker? Looks delicious and I will definitely make this ……though I do try to avoid turning on my oven on these hot days……..

  17. I’m a big fan of dry rubs. I’m going to give this one a shot.

    I also enjoy the photos, any suggestions on a moderately priced camera for taking food photos?

  18. Would putting the foil directly on the oven rack have the same effect as putting a rack on top of a baking sheet? Seems like it would.

  19. If this recipe is as good as the oven ribs, which are the best ribs EVER, it will become another of my smitten favorites. When I am having a bad day, all I ever need is a little Deb humor. Keep the recipes and writing coming Deb!

  20. Hey Deb!
    Quick question…in your instructions right before you list the ingredients you mention that the chicken will take 2-3 hours at 250 degrees, but then state the cooking temperature in the recipe as 300 degrees. Which would temperature would you recommend for the best low-and-slow cooking method?
    Thanks!!

  21. I’ve been experimenting with vertically roasting chickens (aka “beer in the rear” chicken) and they’re moist, but haven’t been quite flavorful enough. I’m going to try your dry rub on my next one! We dry rub our ribs with great success.

    Love your cookbook by the way…

  22. I go on tangents of trying different methods of seasonings meats that we ordinarily grill. Even though we do use a grill, I still start many meats in the oven to slow cook first. I go back and forth between dry rubbing and wet mopping, and, sometimes do both! The dry rub sure is easier and I find that I can muster together a base recipe for bbq sauce and let the meat juices with mingled-in spice from the rub, season the sauce. In any event, I do save the meat juices to add to whatever sauce I may be caramelizing on the meat or serving on the side. It adds so much flavor to the sauces.

  23. Does this chicken come out fairly moist? Ina Garten always says cooking longer dries chicken out..but does that just apply when it’s a whole chicken? I noticed you have foil which probably helps with the moisture.. What do you think?

  24. You can always ask your butcher about brining recommendations if you’re using something like kosher meat, as well.

    A dry rub is an essential ingredient to any good meat, barbeque or not, wet or dry, and can also be used to season burgers, fish, etc. These can also be called blackening spice, cajun blackening spice, just cajun spice, etc. With barbeque and ribs, sauce should only be applied at the end when you’re finishing the meat. By the way, this same recipe could be used even if you do have a grill, and just finish on the grill instead of the broiler. For those less-adept at grilling, this lets you get all the show on the grill without risking making chicken-colored shoe leather.

    You could also bake for slightly less time, refrigerate, and finish/reheat on the grill, say if you were having a large party and you can’t get all the chickens in the oven at once (or didn’t want to consume your oven the whole time).

  25. Once I brined some wings for a day following a momofuku recipe. I didn’t realise until I read you post that it’s suppose to make the chicken more tender. Thanks!

  26. I want to give this one a try a.s.a.p. I plan to trot out my clear jar of whole nutmeg, read the label admiringly, and use it as suggested. Thank you for all of the “delishish” things we have tried as a result of your efforts. How about a section in your next cookbook entitled “you can’t make these comments up”, in which you share all the not-so-nice ones, ones that we cannot possibly imagine anyone caring to comment about, and those you have had to delete? Many of us would be laughing our nutmegs right off I am sure. Good food and always something funny as well, what a blog!!!

  27. If one so desired to make this on a weeknight (with two working individuals inhabitating a household) is it possible to brine the chicken for longer than 6 hours? Is this detrimental to the process in any way?

  28. Is there a reason why it’s on a cooling rack? I only have one rack, so it would be easier just to cook them (in the foil) on the pan directly.

  29. Deb, if I did a slow cooker, would I still put the chicken in foil packets? If so, do you think I could layer it over vegetables, so I’d come home to a full meal?

    1. Slow-cooker — I would not use the foil, don’t think it is needed as the “oven” is enclosed. Layered over vegetables, I am not sure. Usually with dry rub, you’re trying to keep the moisture away, except for that of the meat.

      The rack — Is to keep the meat from browning/roasting against the pan, so heat can circulate under it.

      Stephanie — It might get almost overly soft and moist. But if that doesn’t sound scary to you, go for it.

      Lauren — You’d be shocked if I told you how few comments I had to delete due to rudeness. Weeks go by without even one. (Am I tempting fate here? Ha! Yes!) People are very nice in the comments. (Thank you!) I remove more that are self-promotional or unrelated to the recipe at hand.

      Mariachi — Is it necessary? Probably not. But not all comments are necessary either, and I still smile and shrug at them.

      Kris — Agh! Forgot the link. It’s this one: https://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/05/greek-salad-with-lemon-and-oregano/

      Amanda — If you have more time, go with the lower and slower method.

      Debby — I think it would take much less time to cook. If you’re concerned about the skin, I might remove it from the chicken and leave it on the bones so the spice can get more “in” there.

      Cat — For breasts, yes. For wings/thighs/drumsticks, just put the fleshiest part facing down, if you can.

      Monica — There isn’t a forum, sadly. I haven’t tried freezing the dough but don’t see why you couldn’t after letting them rise, but then defrost them before you bake them.

      Sophie — Hmmmm… I am not sure. But I also have my own weird preferences (I prefer tofu “uncooked” or just cubed from the package or it tastes too dry to me). I don’t think it would hurt to try but I don’t think the slow-cooking process is necessary for something that doesn’t take long to cook.

  30. Hi deb! If you we’re to attempt this in the slow cooker would you still put foil down and wrap the chicken?

  31. Despite not being a meat eater, I’m still the one who ultimately prepares the food in our house… so, I’m totally bookmarking this rub for the next time E looks at me with those big eyes and asks for BBQ chicken.

  32. Oh holy moly. Saw this this morning, made it tonight…AWESOME. I’m a good cook and I don’t think I’ve made chicken this good, ever. Incredible. Thank you so much. I can not wait to make it again.

  33. Hi Deb,
    I really enjoy this blog. I’ve been inspired to try many of your recipes and I suspect even if I wasn’t interested in cookery I’d still read your posts for the writing. You’ve got a great voice.
    Even though it’s not relevant to this entry I wanted to say I just had cocktails and snacks at a restaurant where, in the words of our waitress “they pickle everything!” The proof was in the pudding (pickles?). The fried green tomatoes were served with pickled strawberries. The cheese plate came with pickled pistachios. Charcuterie was accompanied by pickled radishes. I think you would have been in pickled bliss.
    Thank you for all you do-Emily

  34. Labeling the jar of whole nutmeg is very necessary, otherwise all the OCD among us will go crazy from the lack of continuity! If you label one jar, you gotta label ’em all.

  35. I second the question about the cooling rack. I actually don’t own any and I have an (if you can fathom) even more miniscule kitchen then you, Deb! I’m at full capacity with my cabinets now and don’t need any more extraneous items. Will it detract from the chicken if I skip the racks?

    1. Cooling rack — But how do you make cookies?! I use my racks for everything, including cooling any pans that come out of the oven. Not that you asked me to convince you. I haven’t tried to make this without racks. I feel like you should flip and turn the packets a little if you can’t circulate heat underneath, but that might cause a leaking mess. Do so carefully.

  36. Wow, made this tonight for supper. Outstanding recipe. I used the smoked paprika this time and am excited to try the sweet paprika next time. I served with brown rice and steamed green beans. The sauce was great on the rice. I only made up one packet and my chicken seemed to cook fine (a whole cut up organic fryer). I use a dry rub for pulled pork and roast it, I used to use a slow cooker but found roasting it made for a much nicer texture.

  37. I also used 1 chicken and 1 packet. I did have to change up the rub a bit (omitted the nutmeg and added dry mustard). As you said, the sauce was very salty. I ended up adding a little catsup and honey to it while reducing. And I had A LOT of juice. I might try leaving a small vent in the foil packet next time.

    I do seem to be on a mustard binge. I thought this went great with the pickled veggie slaw (which is totally AMAZING). And corn on the cob.

  38. Hi Deb,
    This looks great! I was just wondering about the skin, does it end up being crunchy or quite soft? Would you recommend maybe running the final product quickly under the broiler to achieve a crispy skin? Thankyou :)

  39. You say that brining the chicken makes it juicier than you ever thought possible. I am not being rude but I detest juicy chicken or turkey and depending on how juicy I will probably not eat it. (most bought Chicken such as KFC or other places along those lines have chicken that is disgustingly juicy which makes me sick) Chicken and turkey both should be fairly dry when cooked thoroughly. So my concern is, if I skip soaking the chicken in the brine how will that affect the final taste of the chicken? Or, should I go ahead and soak it in the brine and then just cook it longer to remove most of the juice? Do not want to over cook it and dry out the meat so much that it is over cooked.

  40. Hi Deb,
    Do you think this recipe could be halved effectively? Changes you’d suggest for making 1 chicken instead of 2? Thanks so much; I cannot wait to make this!

  41. Can I make this with boneless/skinless chicken breast I buy at the store? I know I’m sacrificing so much flavor but I don’t work with meat often/ever and want to take baby steps here.

  42. How long do you think this should be cooked with boneless skinless chicken breast? I have it in the fridge and I think I want to make it tomorrow… this recipe looks amazing!

  43. I am going to make a few jars of that dry rub as gifts for my aunt. Not sure if my cousin will be able to take that home to Australia. But yes, dry rub as gifts for the win!

  44. I really can’t stand making chicken (is it the bones?), except for chicken breasts. This recipe, however, seems so good that I can’t wait to try it. I am sure that my kids and hubby will love me (and you) for it…. thanks!

  45. I love this kind of recipe…. since my boyfriend always complains when I make chicken, I might pull it off with this recipe (men and their beloved beef).

  46. Hi Deb, could you use a pork joint for this recipe? The flavors would be great, like with ribs, but I am not sure about the cooking process, ie would you brine? I have slow cooked pork and lamb and I am crazy about the results. Just wonder if brining is really only for chicken? Thanks for the inspiration.

  47. Cooling rack – you could just cut some onions in half and balance the foil on those – then the air would circulate and you would also get roast yummy onions!

    Love the recipe – dry rubs are not well known here in South Africa – but will get on and brine and rub ASAP!

  48. Hi – I’m new to your blog this week and I LOVE IT!!

    One question: is there any way to increase the font size? I hope I don’t sound too elderly but I really struggle to read font this tiny.

    And I want to read every recipe you’ve got in the archives :)

    Can anyone help?

  49. Ok, I am trying this on a pork loin as a paste, mixed with a bit of sherry vinegar and some fennel seeds and am planning to slow roast, as the chicken recipe. Will report back…. Can’t wait til supper time.

  50. Yum – this looks so good. I’m definitely making it tonight. I make a mean dry rub similar to yours for my oven ribs and always include some Chinese Five Spice. Thanks for your inspiration…

  51. I’ve done something similar but instead of wrapping the pieces individually, I tent a cooking rack over a drip pan with foil – otherwise, all done the same. I do this with a variety of rubs and also a fake tandoori chicken which I truly find much better than real tandoori (apologies to fans of tandoori, I do like it too but it’s often dry).

    For the saltiness of the sauce from the drippings, you can expand the sauce in a variety of ways and thus reduce the salt. Depending on the rub, I add white wine or beer, reduce, then add chicken broth, or I add coconut milk or cream. If it needs to be thickened I generally go to arrowroot as it stays clear and I know it’s not GMO sourced. But don’t waste that juicy drip sauce!

  52. I noticed that you took down the list of links to other blogs. I had really enjoyed using the list to explore other blogs and I was wondering if you would consider putting it back up?

  53. Would you still put it in aluminum foil if you put in a slow-cooker? Sounds
    like a silly question, but perhaps possible?

  54. Hi, just wanted to let you know that I tried repeatedly to email this but every time got an alert that the verification was incorrect (in fact it was not). Tried at least 5 times, same result.

  55. #71 Cat — I think that sounds like a great meal and I may have to duplicate it. I might also add some potato salad (with mustard, of course).

    I make a very similar dry rub. It’s based on the one you used for the Sweet and Smoky Oven Spareribs and another similar dry rub with the addition of cumin. Adding nutmeg sounds interesting. I’ll have to try it the next time I make the rub.

    This sounds delicious and I’ll be trying it next week. I think I might combine the juices with some of the barbecue sauce I make. Maybe I’ll start to reduce the juices and add sauce until it tastes “right.”

  56. Laughed when I read this. I do have a grill and love to BBQ. My favorite method is to smoke the meat on the grill for a bit to give it flavor, then transfer it to the oven to finish up and get nice and tender. Best of both worlds!

  57. Hi Deb. This looks fantastic! My husband is from California (we now live in Michigan), and he desperately misses good barbecue. I will definitely be trying this. I have a question about how to arrange the chicken in the packets. Is there a special technique to what pieces should go in the center, and what should go towards the outside? Thanks!

  58. Went to bed pondering what to do with the R4QS Chicken in the fridge. (My version of counting sheep.) Have the chicken in your brine right now, fixing to make the Dry Rub. Thanks bunches!

  59. Love your rub recipes! But love those little container’s more! One said minced garlic, where o’ where did you get those??

    1. Hi Marissa — I did a post on my OCD spice jars over here. These days, there are many more cute tiny jars available. Tiny canning jars with clamp lids would also be awesome.

      Angie — I didn’t take it down so much as the program that powered the list (it was extracted from my Google Reader automatically) shut down July 1st. I will replace the page with something else soon; just need to rethink how I want to approach it.

      (I prefer it to be automated from what I’m actually reading or the list will grow outdated quickly. And wouldn’t it be cool if I could share links to the last 20 articles I read too? I read a ton of random articles each day. If I find a new blog today to read, I think it’s great if you could start reading it tomorrow, etc. Anyway, I’m open to suggestions if others know of programs that do this simply. I’m currently using Feedly, and don’t see a list republishing option.)

      Irene — Ooh, I bet brisket would be wonderful. I might use this technique instead for the slow-cooker, however.

      Cataherine — I agree, the font is on the small side. If I ever redesign, I might adjust it. However, on any browser, you can just hit Control or Command and the plus size to increase the size of the page you’re reading.

      Alison — Brining is for any meat that easily comes out too dry, so it’s up to you. I’d personally brine pork too.

      Kim — It can definitely, neatly be halved. In fact, not sure why I suggest such a large serving size, except for getting a couple days of meals from a longer cooking project. (It reheats spectacularly well.)

      Carl — You don’t need to brine the chicken if you don’t like brined chicken. The recipe works without it. It’s an extra step I like to take because I find most chicken too dry.

      Using boneless/skinless chicken — In Comment #65, I responded to Debby, who’d asked this earlier.

  60. I’m brand-new to cooking cuts of meat, and my fiance will not touch bone-in/skin-on chicken. (I’m willing to de-bone it occasionally, but dang it, I’m lazy!) Can I use slow-and-low on boneless/skinless chicken too?

  61. Terrific recipe & idea!
    I do a very similar brine & dry rub with pork chops
    and/or a roast (with a larger pork butt I cook at 225 for 5 or 6 hours).
    Of course, living here in New Mexico, we use a lot of red chile in
    the dry rub.
    Fabulous & thanks!

  62. Hi Deb
    I would also like to know how to adapt this to a pork loin. We are feeding a crowd at a family reunion next week and would love to serve this.

  63. I just made a bazillion boneless chicken thighs for a party; we dry rubbed the meat before smoking it and then brushed it with some peach and bourbon bbq sauce to finish it. The sauce was great but you are so right…it’s that dry rub and the low and slow heat that imparts such great flavor to the meat.

  64. Deb, would you school me on Kosher salt? What are some reasons I should purchase/use it instead of sea salt?
    Thanks!
    Wyo Megan

    1. Wyo — Kosher salt is usually the go-to in restaurant kitchens, and less expensive than sea salt. If you’re using measurements, it’s more reliable (mostly, with a big caveat for one brand) whereas sea salt may range greatly in saltiness (grain size) from brand to brand. But otherwise, many people feel that sea salt tastes better and there’s no reason not to use it instead.

      Denise — Absolutely. I keep mine in a clamp-top airtight jar at room temperature.

  65. Oh yum, that looks delicious! I have to say, this is perfectly timed as we just watched a West Wing episode that discusses dry rub and CJ says she ‘loves it’ and thus, I wanted to eat it. Now I can! Thanks :)

  66. So here’s the real question (I’m surprised it hasn’t yet come up in the comments), can I make more dry rub than this recipe requires and store it for future use? I can’t see why not, but I’m new to this too and maybe it’s better “fresh” for all I know. How would you store it? (My gut instinct says airtight container probably in the fridge?) Any advice for keeping things like this on hand…

  67. This is a response to the cooling rack question and response in comments 67 and 68- if you have a gas stove with removable metal burners (not the actual flame part, but the metal covering) I’ve used those as tools to help cook my Thanksgiving turkeys and roast chickens. You can just place your foil packet or bird on top as you would a roasting rack.

    It is, however, utterly useless for cookies.

  68. Lord have mercy, this looks delicious! I’ll have to make this. Maybe I’ll invite some friends over and share… or not. ;)

    xoxo

    Sophie

  69. I’ve never be a big fan of wet barbecue. How ever I love dry rub anything barbecue. I have my own recipe but yours look really good. I’ll give it a go the next time I do barbecue.

  70. Delicious! I’m a gram girl, any chance of your recent recipes being updated with measurements in grams, in addition to cups?

  71. Wow. This looks awesome! Deb to the rescue! Quick question: why is there so much paprika (and chili powder)? Is the chicken pretty spicy- would less-brave palates prefer it a little milder, do you think?

    1. Shaley — Paprika and chili powder are two of the major flavor components of this kind of barbecue, however, neither have to be spicy. I have mild chili powder and used a mixture of sweet (i.e. not spicy) and smoked paprika (Spanish pimenton) and neither added heat.

  72. I made this tonight- I’ve been looking for a bbq recipe for us apartment-bound folks for a while now and as soon as I saw it I knew it would be delicious with the pickled coleslaw from your cookbook and some homemade baked beans. Thanks for sharing this solution! Just the right amount of smoky/spicy for us.

    Also re: cooling rack, I use the 2 little racks from my toaster oven (which is itself rarely used, it’s mostly for cheese toast) and they work just fine. I think a real rack may be next on my culinary acquisitions list, though ;)

  73. I think I may have to give this a try because despite having a grill, these 90+ degree days make standing in front of it somewhat less appealing. Does the vinegar flavor from the brine show up much in the meat? Never tried a brine with vinegar and while vinegar in sauce is all good, I’m not sure I’d like that flavor in the chicken.

  74. I usually don’t care much for chicken. Seems like no matter how it’s prepared (other than highly-spiced Indian or Thai dishes), it always just tastes like, well, chicken. Little mixing and melding of flavors like you get with pork or beef. This dish was a wonderful exception. Made it exactly as instructed using thighs only and the smoked paprika option. Chicken was tasty and moist without being overly KFC-style-liquid-y in the center, and the skin even crisped nicely without burning. Sauce was a nice addition too. Thank you thank you thank you for a chicken dish that I will actually look forward to preparing, eating, and serving to family and guests!

  75. Hi – Great Recipe! One could substitute some of the regular kosher salt in the rub for some smoked salt. They make all kinds, like cherry, alder, hickory, pecan, oak, etc… if you’re jones-ing for a smokier flavor. Thanks!

  76. My solution to the too salty reduction of BBQ juices? I take my favorite BBQ sauce (Mr. Stubbs) and defat the juices and add them to the sauce. Adds another layer of flavor to the sauce and thins it to my liking.

  77. I made this last night with two whole organic boneless skin-on chicken breasts (about 2.5 pounds). I reduced the cooking time slightly, since they were boneless. Aside from the reduced cooking time, I followed the directions exactly. I even made the sauce. My husband said it was finger lickin’ good, and I had to agree! Thanks, SK!

  78. I made very few adjustments with this recipe and it turned out spectacular… For us Californians BBQ is standard practice but I always forget about what I’m cooking and things have burned : / on the grill. The sauce was great and my teenage picky eater daughter loved the chicken… Always a delight when your kids like something you make besides Mac and Cheese. Cheers Deb! Another keeper for me!

  79. Thank you for another wonderful recipe.
    Just a question about the Brine ingredients.
    Vinegar is listed twice:
    1/3 cup white or brown sugar
    1/3 cup white vinegar
    Do I add 2/3 cup of vinegar or is it a typo?
    Also with Kosher salt, what amount of table salt would I use instead?
    Thank you,
    Angela

  80. How long to you leave the pieces in the brine? Are they par-cooked in the brine? I read through but I can’t figure it out..

    1. C — Links page was powered by a program (Google Reader) that no longer exists. I’m looking for a new solution.

      Tj — The brine does not cook the meat, just infuses it with a little seasoning and extra moisture. You leave it in the brine for at least 1 hour and up to 6.

      Angela — Vinegar is only listed once. The first 1/3 cup is for white or brown sugar, the second for white vinegar. So, only 1/3 cup. If using table salt, use 1/3 the amount.

      Ben — I didn’t find the vinegar flavor to show up — it’s more like a general extra boost of flavor for the chicken — but you can replace it with water if it’s not your thing.

  81. Tried this last night– it was delicious. I am a fan of dry rubs and use one for ribs in the crockpot that come out perfect! I did this one in the oven last night but just baked at 375. Also, did not make an additional sauce. It was saucy enough with the rub and the juice from the chicken.

    I did think it was too salty for our taste tough. Will reduce in half next time. It’s a keeper recipe though!

  82. I do baby back ribs this way, only with garlic, salt, and pepper. Long slow cook then under the broiler to cook the sloppy bbq sauce to a crispy brown. I’m going to try your dry rub on them and see what happens. Looks good on chicken!

  83. I would like to do this in the slow cooker. I have about 4-5lbs in 14 pieces. it fills my cooker to about an inch from the top. Would I use high or low and about how long? I am thinking about 4 hours on high? I would then throw it on the gas grill just to crisp it up. I don’t use the slow cooker much and it is a cheap one. Any hints would be great.

  84. Hi Deb! I’m a long time reader and I love your site! One of the things I liked was your list of Good Reads–people and cooks who are doing interesting things. I’m very sad to see the list go and am wondering why you took it down? Thanks so much!

  85. Deb, I’ve been following you for years and am such a fan! Of your recipes but also your writing style…you are so engaging! Anywho, I’m trying out this recipe today and realized I have a pretty sub-par post-college oven that mostly shows its colors in its broiling abilities. If I can’t broil very well, can I fry up the chicken at the end to get the crust? Also you may have already answered this, but if I have only one cooling rack, can I just bake the chicken in a baking pan and flip them over half way? Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions!

    1. Stephanie — You can just crank up the oven to the hottest at the end and put it in for a couple minutes to crisp the edges; no need to fry. I would still use the foil if you don’t have a rack, just flip it carefully. If you comb through the comments, a few people have made suggestions of other things that can be used instead of racks.

      Caitlin — See my responses in Comments #101 and 136. I didn’t want to take them down, it’s just that the program that powered them was Google Reader, and that program shut down July 1st. They’ll be back when I find an alternative.

  86. Thanks for that recipe Deb! I just made it yesterday at the 250 degree option and it literally fell off the bone. It was like real smoky barbecue! And I am still reaping the rewards with leftovers today :)

  87. A winner! Me stupid—I wrapped the foil AROUND the rack, then caught my error. Decided to proceed anyway. Came out GREAT and didn’t need to be turned. Halved the recipe for 1 chicken. Brined 2 hours (added 1 Tbl black pepper to brine). Baked 250 for 2-1/2 hours. Added 1 TBL tomato paste and 1/4 cup vinegar to sauce (love it western NC style!). Tomato paste made it so velvety. Dipped chx in sauce and broiled both sides till bubbly. With a side of slaw + corn on the cob, my partner and I ooohed and ahhhed our way through dinner. Needed lots of paper towels. Making again! An ideal make-ahead party recipe.

  88. Just finished making this…..it just doesn’t seem right that a recipe this easy could be so good! Thanks very much, I’ll definitely be making this one again.

  89. Really great chicken! @Chris Bryant – I made a note to myself to actually wrap the foil around the rack next time. I didn’t care for how all the juices basically washed off all the rub from the bottom-facing pieces. I’m thinking sitting the chicken on the rack directly, THEN foiling, will be my saving grace :) I made the full rub amount and used half to coat 2 half-breasts and 4 thighs (only 2 of us eating). Brined for 3 hours, then cooked at 250º for 2 hours. Let set for 30 minutes (still wrapped) while I made my side. Broiled before serving. Saved the remaining rub for next time!

  90. Dear Deb,
    I saw your post today and tried it for dinner!
    Everyone loved it…the meat was so soft and full of flavour…
    Thank you!

  91. Just made this tonight – was amazing! spicy!! my husband and I devoured it – the dark mmeat literally fell off the bone. Kids liked it too (ages 2 and 4) though I had to take off the skin b/c of the spice. Will definitely be making this again.

  92. Slow and low in the oven!!! I love it!!! I can’t wait to try this. I am adding you to my blogroll so I’ll remember to keep coming back to your blog…

  93. Fantastic! Made it for an outdoor concert and it was divine! So tender and full of flavor. Have plenty-o-rub left for pork tenderloin and more chicken. My only mistake was a leaky foil bag on a cookie sheet with no rim :( Oh well, needed to clean bottom of oven anyway. Next time I will follow your directions and use two different racks in oven and not top one. I also loved the peach crumble last week! BIG hit for 4th! You are my hero Deb. My daughter Claire loved meeting you at the NYC Sur la table demo! She loved it!

  94. i’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life, so i’ve never cooked meat before. however, i decided to give this a shot and cook it for my carnivorous fiance. he was beyond thrilled about it and i had to smack his hand away from our slow cooker quite a few times before it was ready. it smelled amazing, and according to him it tasted incredible.

    also, can i humbly submit a request for breakfast foods that are easy to throw together? like a time/skill/ingredient level that’s comparable to the spinach and soft boiled egg sandwich you posted a while back. i’m in a breakfast rut.

  95. Deb, another winner. I do baby back ribs in a similar way and they are great. Can’t wait to try this along with the Greek salad, sounds great.

  96. I have just put mine in the slow cooker. I used a kosher chicken so no brine. I love dry rubbed oven cooked ribs so I am excited about dry rubbed chicken. By the way I love your blog. I have made many of your recipes and they have all been good. I am off to the store for peaches to make the crumble recipe also.

  97. Hi Deb and anyone who has tried this with a slow-cooker,
    So to clarify, I don’t need the foil or the rack for the slow-cooker method, correct? Thanks for the recipe Deb! I usually don’t cook chicken, but I just might try this one!

  98. Hi, Just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe the same day it was sent out and it has been a huge hit! My partner said it’s the best chicken he ever had (not sure that’s a compliment!) and my teenage son said “It’s so tasty, I’m dribbling!” I made it exactly as your recipe and they loved it. And enough rub for another time too! Thanks.

  99. Crockpot: I brined 5.5 lbs of drumsticks and thighs with skin for 2 hours in the evening. Dried them off, coated them with the rub, threw them willy-nilly into the crock pot (3/4 full) and put the stoneware in the fridge overnight. Cooked them the next day, 7 hours on low and then they sat for an hour on the “keep warm” setting til I got home from work. I stuck them under the broiler for five minutes to crisp them up a bit, and stuck them in the freezer for an hour because I was taking them on a pot-luck picnic and it was HOT out (I didn’t want to take room-temp chicken for safety reasons). Everyone raved. RAVED, I’m telling you.
    The three pieces in the very bottom of the pot fell apart, so I used the meat for lunch the next day. Everything else was perfect. Delicious!
    I’m so grateful for this recipe because I am a single parent working full-time with absolutely no time to cook good food. I rarely am happy with crockpot cooking, but this one was fantastic. Instant staple.Thanks, Deb!

  100. Made this for dinner tonight and it was insanely good. I used less kosher salt in the brine and in the dry rub so I didn’t find my sauce overly salty. In fact, it was the absolute highlight of the dish. Will definitely be making this again.

  101. You are too funny and so entertaining to read. My daughter verb-s all sorts of words. She likes to say “we vs-ed the boys”. (girls vs boys!)
    I am definitely making this chicken, in fact, I can’t wait to try it. I love brining meat, I know how much it can improve the flavour and juiciness.

  102. I made this for dinner tonight. My husband just loves bbq but we only have a small appartment and therefore no grill. So this was perfect and tasted absolutely delicious. As a side I made corn cakes which went really well with the sauce. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  103. You have just blown my mind. I love dry rubs and use the oven as often as possible for bbq, but chicken…I never thought of it. Trying this tomorrow for sure. Thanks!

  104. Just tried making this in the slow cooker and it came out very dry. I think it would have been much better in the oven because the flavors are amazing! I just think the slow cooker tends to make chicken really dry.

  105. I am a former NYC resident who now lives full time in an RV (with a small kitchen) traveling all over this fantastic country. I have been reading your blog for years. I buy very few boooks (due to space limitations), but I did buy your cookbook (I told my husband this was a must). I made this chicken tonight for dinner. I used half the amount of chicken and cut everything in half (for the brine I used 1 tablespoon of kosher salt). I put the chicken in the brine for two hours and then put it in the crockpot while we visted a marvelous museum and the Great Falls here in Montana. Then came home to a AMAZING DELICIOUS dinner. My husband and I both loved it. We wil be making this again for sure.
    Thanks for all your hard work.

  106. My husband and I always lament the fact that outdoor grills are not allowed in NYC (would our neighbors really tell on us?!). So indoor barbecue recipes are our favorite! This looks delicious; cannot wait to try it.

  107. Just made the rub and rubbed it on a spatchcocked chicken. The whole thing is in the oven now. Can’t wait to try the low and slow method, but had been dying to try both your rub and spatchcocking so here goes nothing!

  108. Another open laptop and go straight to kitchen recipe! I’ve just dry rubbed some brisket and put it in the crock pot – will finish it with some smoke later

  109. I have this in the oven right now. I’ve used a very similar dry rub on whole chickens cooked low and slow like this and it is PHENOMENAL. I used all legs this time. Very much looking forward to dinner tonight, and all the other dinners I’m going to use this rub with.

  110. Whenever I brine meat, then when it’s time to season (put on a rub) I omit any salt because the meat has already been salted from the brine. So I left out the salt in the rub, and the resulting sauce from the reduction was perfect- not overly salty in the least. Actually serving this as pulled chicken in a wrap with your pickled vegetables and the sauce as the dressing. Looking forward to tomorrow’s lunch already. :)

  111. Being a long time barbecue enthusiast I have to say you hit the nail on the head throughout this recipe. I only have one suggestion and I think someone else mentioned it.

    I don’t believe that the vinegar is necessary in your brine unless you are looking for a vinegar taste. The salt and water will pull other flavors into the meat. So you can take the opportunity to use a few herbs (rosemary and thyme) or just a tablespoon or two of the rub.

    Great post.

  112. Oh my goodness.
    I just made this last night and it was divine. My husband and I love vinegary bbq sauces and this hit the spot. Although it was salty it wasn’t overly-so and the whole thing came together perfectly. I’m making more of your recipes tonight!

  113. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I fixed it for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I have used lots of dry rubs (I liked yours very much) but had never done a brine. Wow! It was the most moist chicken I’ve ever cooked.

  114. Been loving the Marsala Chicken on Food Wishes. This Slow and Low Dry Rub Oven Chicken is now the best chicken dish I can make. Thanks SmittenKitchen.

  115. This was the second time I made this recipe in a week!! This time with pork tenderloin. I forgot to brine the pork..whoops! But no biggy, it tasted A-mazing!!! It was a split vote on liking the pork and liking the chicken. The sauce is also perfect to drizzle on my slow roasted brussel sprouts and carrots! YUM!! Thanks for another great recipe!

  116. Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I had some merkén, a Chilean spice rub, and I used it as the dry rub for this. I love roast chicken and this is one of the most moist, delicious meals I’ve ever made. Best of all: I set out some of our favorite barbecue sauce as a condiment and my husband looked at me, puzzled, with a mouth full of this perfectly moist chicken. “Why would I need that?” Consider us two happy Texans. :)

  117. Would you be able to make this on a traditional BBQ with charcoal? If so, what would the cooking times be and would the preparation stay the same?

  118. I’ve been using a dry rub for years–on a whole chicken, which roasts at a low temp for several hours, on pork steaks (I’m from St. Louis and these seem to be a local favorate), rib eyes. My rub doesn’t have sugar so I added that, and rubbed down some chicken thighs (with bones and skin). Didn’t have time to brine but the chicken was very moist. Sauce was great–not what I was expecting but lovely just the same.

  119. This is the best chicken I have ever made. I brined only for the time it took to make the spice mix and preheat the oven (10 minutes?), and I didn’t follow the spice mix closely, but used the same ingredients. The secret is in the cooking method, and it is just great, even on a weeknight. I added some ketchup to the sauce, along with the honey and vinegar, and it was phenomenal.

  120. Deb, I made this chicken last night and really LOVED how moist and delicious it was! (I used a Kosher chicken and did not brine it.) I know my three year old grandson would love its juiciness and texture, but I’m not sure of the spice mixture for his picky, young pallet. Can you suggest a milder, alternative seasoning that would work with the same method of preparation? I figured salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika, but maybe you have another idea. Thanks in advance.

    1. Gaby — When we’re at a beach house, I sometimes fiddle with a blend of brown sugar, enough Kosher salt to make it as salty as it is sweet, parpika and little bit of garlic powder, plus red pepper to taste. It might be a good place to start for the kid. However, I made this without the hot pepper and my (very picky) 3.5 year old ate it enthusiastically. I was impressed! But, without the red pepper, it’s flavorful, not hot.

  121. I happened to be looking for a summer chicken recipe I could do in my crock pot – your posts are always so well timed! Thank you – it was a winner and will go into regular summer rotation :)

  122. Uh, oops. I left the chicken in the brine overnight. Long story, but it was in there for far longer than the recommended 6 hours. Am I still ok? Will the chicken still work for tonight? I removed it from the brine this morning and just stuck it back in the fridge in an airtight container. Thanks!!

  123. Hi,
    Any reason I couldn’t do this to the low temp in the oven, then do the last step on the grill rather than under the broiler?

  124. Just made this for dinner, and it was wonderful! I didn’t have garlic powder, so I used 2 tablespoons of garlic salt and omitted the kosher salt in the recipe. Didn’t have any nutmeg either, so I used cinnamon instead. It turned out perfectly seasoned. I made the sauce too, and added a few drops of Psycho garlic hot sauce. I felt it was sweet enough so I didn’t add honey. Served it with a green salad, corn-on-the-cob, and mashed potatoes (with purple potatoes!). My boyfriend and our friend who joined us for dinner were very impressed as well. Thank you soo much for this recipe! It was easy and delicious, and it”ll be a staple in our kitchen now.

  125. Made this in slow cooker (5 hours low, no foil) with bone-in chicken breast halves. Magic happens under the broiler! Reduced the juices, very tasty sauce and beautiful color but agree that too salty. Next time will reduce the salt in the rub. Thanks Deb!!

  126. I made this for dinner last night. Only the red & black pepper. Almost didn’t make enough chicken they liked it so much. Even my grandson ate a few pieces. Definitely will be making this again!

  127. yum. that’s all i can say – oh, easy AND yum. and the delicious smell spreading through the house – double yum.

    I used kosher chicken so skipped the brine (as suggested). I made one package of wings and one of whole chicken breast. the wings are outrageously yummy, the breast was great (cooked the breasts for less time).

  128. As always, you inspired me to try something new – thank you!

    I didn’t see in comments above, but could you tell me where you get those fantastic spice jars? I would really like to get some. Thanks!

  129. Brine worked great, and rub was tasty…but I took Deb at her word when she said to use an unseemly amount…and the chicken and sauce ended up SPICY. I like the heat, but I’ll be sure to restrain myself next time and just use enough to stick to the chicken pieces. As one of the previous commenters recommended, I added 1/2 cup of ketchup along with 2 TB honey to the final sauce before reducing, and the result was delicious and not particularly salty. Glad to have this simple method in my arsenal now!

  130. Wow! Thank you for this. The kids LOVED it, and that says a lot, they’re picky eaters. I used some Perfect Pinch seasoning instead of chili powder. It actually only took about an hour to cook, which was great. The sauce was yummy too. The kids have asked that I make this at least once a week. Thank you!

  131. I made this last night and it was wonderful. I used Kosher chicken and brined it with about half the salt and then about 2/3 of the salt in the rub and it came out great. Thanks.

  132. Hi, I live in China and can’t get kosher salt. Is it possible to use the same amount of regular salt in the brine?

    Thanks!

  133. @jen (comment #175), who served this pulled with pickled vegetables–How did this turn out? I’m making pulled chicken for a wedding and would really like to use this method. I’ll test it out and see, but any input would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  134. Delicious! Thanks Deb. The chicken was moist and we enjoyed the combination of spices. I held back a little with the chili powder but will spice up the remainder of the mixture somewhat. As always – great site.

  135. I made this last night with brining for 2 hours and like others have said, it was the yummiest chicken I have ever made! I left out the sauce because I’m clumsy and ended up spilling the drippings all over my counters (oops) but it was sooooo good even without it. My boyfriend inhaled his making happy eating sounds the whole time, and requested I make it again on Sunday! This recipe is definitely going to be on our summer barbecue rotation for sure! I love your recipes and your site!

  136. This chicken is so amazing that I have been making triple batches of it for our family cottage….It never matters how much I make, it’s never enough!

  137. Thanks for this recipe! My boyfriend, whom I have been cooking for for about 7 years, said this was the best chicken I’ve made in a long time. Full disclosure- I did omit the nutmeg and salt and instead subbed in mustard powder and a dash of Old Bay. And I did not make sauce b/c I cooked on a grill. The one nice thing about our tiny apartment is that we have a balcony large enough for a tiny grill.

  138. excellent recipe! i did about 12 lbs of legs and thighs for a big birthday bash. i brined, rubbed, and roasted the day before and then finished the chicken on our grill in two batches with two different kinds of sauce.

  139. Okay, I’m joining the choir in saying that this is — hands down — the best chicken (of the spicy, roasty ilk) that I’ve ever made. I followed the dry rub and brine recipes to a tee, and wouldn’t change a thing, especially the vinegar in the brine, which comes through perfectly in the finished product. I used chicken thighs that were on the small side, and they actually ended up overcooked after 90 minutes at 300. Even so, I just couldn’t resist putting them under the broiler — fantastic! Next time — and, oh, there will be a next time — I’ll cook them at 250 and start checking the internal temperature earlier.

  140. I made this recipe tonight. I used two bone in split chicken breasts and cut them in half. I always worry that white meat will be so dry but this chicken was not. I let it brine for about an hour and a half. Next time I will plan ahead and let it brine for the 6 hours. I would also love to do this with some dark meat since lots of folks say the dark meat fell off the bone. I have to say the dry rub was really tasty. I was worried about the nutmeg but it so worked. It was just spicy enough for me. (I put in the full amount of red pepper.) The chicken was not overly salty. However, the sauce I made was too salty for me so I didn’t use it. I actually did not need it! I brought out some bbq sauce I had in the fridge and didn’t need to use that either! Thanks, Deb! Chicken can be so boring but this one was a hit! I hope that there are leftovers so I can use it to make pioneer woman’s chicken tortilla soup. :)

  141. Hi Deb,

    I’m a (very) long-time lurker, first-time commenter, but after cooking this up for dinner tonight I couldn’t help but come on here and tell you how fantastic this recipe is! I used the slow cooker method with great success– my bone-in thighs took about 4 hours to get super tender. The flavor was AMAZING– exactly the right about of spice and sweetness. I served this up for my partner alongside the roasted eggplant with tahini sauce from the book (also a total winner) and a green salad, and we were both beside ourselves for the whole meal.

    Thanks for knocking it out of the park again!

    Anna

  142. I made this recipe for my fiance last night and it was outstanding! He said it might be the best chicken he’s ever had – and this man eats a lot of chicken! Followed the recipes to a T except used light brown sugar instead of dark brown because that’s all I had. This one is going in the recipe file and will be made again and again.

  143. Made these the other night for a friend and it was a big hit. I used just chicken drumsticks, and with brining they came out just right at an hour and a half in the oven. Yummmm.

  144. You say chicken is done at 160 and take it out at 155 but isn’t that true only for white meat? It would be dangerous to cook dark meat to 155 when it should be cooked to 170-175. It looks like a great recipe that I’m going to try soon.

  145. I am making this wonderful, delicious, and heavenly chicken for the second time this summer. I am thinking about getting a little creative with the sauce….could I add about a tablespoon of cherry preserves to the sauce ( or more) to give it a little sweeter and “summery” taste? What are your thoughts?

  146. Vasili — The FDA’s recommendation for all chicken, white or dark, is 165, and that’s considered conservative. I always use 160, because I cannot stand chicken that’s been overcooked for a minute (and, it still cooks for a few minutes after leaving the oven.) I suggested 155 if you’re going to do the broiler step. Running chicken under a broiler for a 5 minutes (the time it will taste to crisp up) will absolutely raise 155 degree chicken to a safe eating point. In all cases, if you prefer your chicken cooked to a higher temperature, you can definitely do just that, but I have never found 160 degree chicken to be anything less than fully cooked in the center.

  147. Made this recipe today, after brining overnight. It was wonderful, and very intensely flavored. Next time I will leave salt out of the dry rub since the meat was salted enough from the brine. Thanks for the perfectly described techniques, you’re the best!

  148. Made this according to the recipe, with less heat as suggested. I have one word to describe it – AMAZING! Need I say more?

  149. Help! I’m not sure I have words for how wonderful this is, but (and it’s a tiny but), I don’t get enough juices off the chicken to boil down and make much of a sauce. What am I doing wrong? I’m using about 1/2 the chicken, just enough for my family of 4, could that be the problem? It really is absolutely fabulous, I finish it on the grill instead of under the broiler, but I would really like more sauce.

    1. Re, the juices — When you say it didn’t become saucy, you mean that it didn’t thicken? Because it will always thicken if reduced enough, it just may have needed more time. It does feel like it takes a while (you can use a higher heat, too) but there is a place between too-liquid and oops-burned where it’s a delicious thick sauce. It will also thicken more as it cools.

  150. No, I mean there’s not much there to simmer down and thicken. I get maybe a 1/4-1/3 cup of drippings. Maybe I’m not using as much rub as I should? It tastes fantastic, but could that be why I don’t have more drippings to turn into sauce? What I do get I do simmer down and it’s fabulous, which just makes me greedy for more.

  151. Ah. No, I get more like a scant cup of drippings pre-reduction, usually, but I guess it can really range depending on how long you brined the chicken, how tightly the packets were sealed (i.e. if they leaked even a little, that could be a 1/4 cup or more loss) and how much you were able to get from the packets into the saucepan. It can be tricky/messy, I know. It’s a bummer you didn’t get more, but you can totally skip that part in favor of a storebought barbecue sauce since it’s maybe not worth the trouble for so few drippings. Or, if you like to make your own (ahem), you could add the drippings you get to it for an extra layer of depth.

  152. I was just asked to make an American food item to share with the seniors at the international school in New Delhi, India, and this looks perfect. I’ll need to make 100 chicken legs, and this looks like just the way to make them! Needs to be dry rub so they can eat with their fingers without it being a nasty mess, and I’ve never used dry rub, well, not really (I’ve used spice rubs on chicken, but not as a “barbecue” flavor) but thought it’d be a good compromise. Now I see it might not be a compromise at all! Thanks for sharing.

  153. this was excellent. I made this for my husband and I last week and I’m already contemplating a new batch soon! Thanks for sharing, great instructions.

  154. Love this. Have made it twice in the crock pot. Today to make it easier, I skipped the brine, put the rub on the whole chicken and put it whole into the crock pot and let it cook on low all day. Just broke up the chicken, and finished it under the broiler and made the sauce as per directions at the end. Whole family loved it!

  155. Deb, I have tried so many of your recipes now and 99% of the time they are so delicious and we really enjoy them! Unfortunately this one didn’t work out so well – the chicken was dry and the skin soft, so I’m finally posting my first comment. Can you help? I made this with half quantities of everything, used a mix of thighs (bone in, skin on) and breast (skin on but I removed the ribs), and brined them for about 3 hours. Should I have cooked the chicken for less time since I removed the bones from the breast? It came out pretty dry, I was so disappointed after reading all the comments about how moist it should be. As for the skin, at the end I turned up the oven to broil but I suspect it never reached its max temperature by the time I pulled the chicken out because the skin was super soft. I thought even before attempting to broil though that the skin would be a little crispy from the hour 30 minutes cooking. What did I do wrong? Thanks!

  156. Hi Heather — Dry chicken is almost always overcooked, or sometimes just a freakishly large bird that didn’t have a chance of having good texture. The skin should crisp if broiled sufficiently but in general, brined chicken doesn’t get as crisp as chicken that is not. Do you use a meat thermometer to test for doneness?

  157. Made on grill , turned out great and family really enjoyed some new favors. Will try it on the smoker next time I smoke some chicken.

  158. Small suggestion – you should really put “Fahrenheit” if you are writing “degrees” otherwise it is inaccurate. I’m assuming you mean Fahrenheit because you’re American. Otherwise, I am thinking in Celsius.

  159. Thank you for this, I will be using this tonight… I have also been doing marinades and bbq sauces, but I want something different:)

  160. Just made this for dinner and it was absolutely delicious! I’d never tried a brine before but I think it really made the chicken extra tender and moist. Kind of reminded me of the bite you get when you marinate in buttermilk. Thanks for the great recipe!

  161. Hi Deb, thanks for replying. I did use a meat thermometer, I think it was reading around 145F before I turned it up to broil, but I’ve never calibrated it so it could be off. If I try this recipe again I wouldn’t use boneless chicken breasts, and maybe I should get a new thermometer!

  162. So today while using this rub for the fourth or fifth time, I eyeballed the popcorn I was snacking on while prepping dinner…and sprinkled a goodly amount of the rub right in my popcorn. AH-mazing.

  163. I am trying to put together a late thanksgiving dinner. I am an ex-pat living abroad (in Southeat Asia) and turkey isn’t readily available here so I opted for twin roasted chickens. They are currently in the brine process right now. My question is….Can I use the dry rub on whole chickens and roast them? I can do a foil tent to keep the moisture in and then open it up for the last 20 minutes for browning. Also, should I baste throughout the roasting process if I go with the dry rub? Any insight will be greatly appreciated! Thanks and Happy Holidays!

    1. Rebecca — Yes, you can. You shouldn’t need to baste if wrapped in foil. Of course, a whole chicken will take more time to cook through. Hope you enjoy!

  164. Deb,

    Can I adapt this recipe for ribs? I know you have a ribs recipe but it isn’t your version and I am a bit partial towards you! Also, it is for a BBQ!

    Do you have any essential MUST-FOLLOW rules for BBQ-ing?

  165. Deb,

    Wonderful recipe! I’ve made this once already and am looking to make it again, but with double the amount of chicken – about 12 lbs (three chicken cut up in 8 pieces each). Should I double the amount of everything in the brining liquid? Thanks so much! Your stuff is awesome, and it always works :)

  166. Best ribs ever! This dry rub recipe is a miracle. So sweet and amazing. I am now going to make wings and drumsticks and whatever else kind of meat I can find with this rub! Thank you!

  167. Made this tonight, Deb! Used thighs and legs. Hubby is feeling a cold coming on and loved the comfort food. (Served with collards and mashed potatoes.) The flavor of the sauce was great from the rub. I used 1/4 Hot smoked paprika, 1/4 smoked paprika, and 1/2 sweet paprika. (I have a LOT of paprika in the house.) Just a personal preference- but next time, I think I will pour the juices in a fat separator before reducing. Maybe I had some fatty chicken – but it was too much. Other than that – we both loved it. :)

  168. I’m trying this now. Never done a dry rub in the oven. It’s in the oven now. Thanks for this recipe if it turns out well I’ll keep it!

  169. Finally got around to making this and it was wonderful! Deb, you are right–the sauce reduction indeed is too salty. I morphed it into a honey-barbecue sauce and I loved it!

  170. I was checking out your dry rub but, was really more interested in the jars you have pictured. Iam planning to make my own seasoning blends and wanted some really nice jars to store the mixes in. Could you please tell me where you got them?

  171. I love meat rubs, they are so versatile, I have many that I have saved in jars & labeled for future use. FYI: Making meat rubs & placing them in tins or jars & labeling them are great as Christmas gifts.Thank You.

  172. This made a lot of chicken. We refrigerated the leftovers, cut (cubed) the meat off the bones, and used much of it in a baked pasta. It was amazing! Baked pasta often has a blandness to it, but not this time. I suspect it also would have made a dynamite chicks salad. OMG I will make this again just for the leftovers!

  173. This came out super delicious! Really simple. I could see using this method with a number of spice rub combinations. I did try the sauce and found it much too salty like you warned. I would definitely skip that step. I did have a BBQ sauce in the pantry but I didn’t find that the chicken needed it. It was perfection as is. Super moist and fell right off the bone. Thank you!

  174. I made this tonight with chicken wings (250* for 2.5 hours) and my boyfriend and brother went crazy over it! The meat fell off the bone and the dry run gave it such a lovely flavor and kick. I served it with your margherita pizza and they were in homemade dinner heaven. Thank you again for makin me look good!

  175. if you’re gonna cook it slow and low, brining really isn’t necessary and doesn’t soften the meat anymore than it already will be. it’s in fact possible to dilute the flavor by brining, which is something The Food Lab covered (http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/the-food-lab-the-truth-about-brining-turkey-thanksgiving.html). My main point is that if you’re already going through the time consuming process of cooking at low temperature, there’s really no reason to add even more time by brining beforehand. great rub, by the way.

  176. I have a solar oven that I like to cook with. I love how food comes out cooked in that so I try to do the same in my kitchen. The solar oven book says that food starts cooking at 180° F. I just season my chicken (or any other meat) with garlic powder and lemon pepper and let it cook for several hours. I prefer chicken thighs so it’s difficult to use a meat thermometer. I tell if it’s done by it falling off the bones. I do have a digital oven thermometer and a digital meat thermometer to use in the solar oven. I also use them in my kitchen oven. I cook as much meat at one time as I can fit in the oven so I don’t have to cook as often or clean pans. I have found that the foil pans fit on top of my baking pans. It is more reusable than covering with foil. Everything comes out juicy, tastes great. I don’t add salt until after cooking.

    I don’t get why more folks do not use solar ovens. I use it on the roof of my camper when camping, but at home, I can just set it in the sun. If it clouds over too much, I can finish in the kitchen. The fuel for the solar oven is FREE. It doesn’t heat up my kitchen at all.

  177. Thank you so much for this recipe. My family now wants chicken no other way, and I am more than happy to oblige.

  178. This is a great dish. Started cooking it a year ago and it is our go to for company when we do BBQ! Is it bad that I still use my smoker to do it, and then finish it off on the grill!! Well I am a man after all……love your site, keep up the wonderful recipes!

  179. I am a vegetarian but I made this for my boyfriend as his entree for a barbecue meal tonight. THANK YOU.
    This was so easy for me to do. I brined the chicken in a gallon size zip loc bag. I used half drumsticks and half legs, because I couldn’t find mixed parts at trader joes. I wasn’t able to utilize my cooling racks though as they are too wide to fit into my condo’s small (yet powerful) oven. The smell as it cooked slowly was awesome.

    I also added finely ground coffee to the rub! I served this with several side dishes including a jalapeño corn bread. I doctored a box of trader joes cornbread mix by substituting a can of coconut milk, concomitant oil, two tablespoons of barbecue sauce, a squeeze of lime and a finely chopped jalapeño for the milk/egg/oil in the recipe. Divine! Smokey and delicious.

  180. I was wondering, I do not want to Brine the chicken. All I would like to do is just coat the chicken in the dry rub, and cook it in the oven @ 375 for 30-40 minutes. Has anyone else tried this? Anyway, I’ve already prepared the dry rub and the chicken is defrosting. We’ll see how this goes!!! **crossing fingers**

  181. I have come back to this recipe multiple times over the last year and it is the perfect chicken for every occasion- always moist, just the right amount of spice, with the deliciousness of smoked paprika featured prominently- love love love this recipe!

  182. I used boneless skinless thighs and shortened the cooking time. The chicken was juicy but the coating was way too spicy and way too dry. So I saved the dish by making the sauce on the drippings. I added lots of plain yogurt, ketchup,and honey and poured it over the lightly broiled chicken. It was delicious with the addition of the sauce.

  183. I have a question I didn’t see addressed here, but maybe I overlooked it: I’m using chicken thighs, and for the “meatier side down” part — does that mean skin side down? Or skin side up? Because on the side opposite the skin, you can *see* more meat, but the skin side *has* more meat, at least on the thighs my grocery store has.

    Sorry to be so dense, I’m just trying to make sure I’m getting it right.

  184. Do I have to brine in a plastic container? I try to avoid plastic in my kitchen. I also don’t have white vinegar but I have rice, balsamic, red, apple and white wine. Will any of this work as a substitution? Thank you for your time and help. I appreciate both. Thank you as well for all your recipes. Have a good weekend. Jena

    1. Jena — You can brine in any container you’d like. Other vinegars will work, they’ll just impart more of a flavor, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And thank you.

  185. This is a frequent recipe of mine. It’s wonderful, and everyone who tries this chicken just loves it. I do some variations in the rub, but this is a terrific combo as described. I love cooking all kinds of meats, roasts and fowl with rubs. It’s a great diversification and everyone loves them. Enjoy! Highly recommended.

  186. Oh, and about brining: always brine chicken! Makes a world of difference in tenderness and juiciness. Extends the tastiness of leftovers too.

  187. Would this cooking technique+brining work for Greek chicken as opposed to bbq? Say Oregano,Lemon Zest, garlic powder etc etc? Would you still need the sugar for it to brown at the end? Thanks for your help.

  188. I would like to try this recipe on all chicken wings, but I plan to season them with a seasoning salt. Should I decrease the salt in the recipe?

  189. I just made this recipe – I think there was a big mismatch in expectations. I probably should have known better, but FWIW, here’s a little heads up.

    I thought low and slow with a dry rub meant that it would come out like BBQ (not grilled, but BBQ) chicken. However, with the chicken being sealed inside foil in direct contact with it’s own juices, it actually come out braised – cooked in liquid (and boy was there a lot of it!), not anything like one would get from low and slow with dry heat. I’m guessing that I could have accomplished the same thing by cooking it a crock pot with a bit less fuss.

    Honestly, this was a big disappointment for by me and my family. Live and learn!

  190. I love love love this recipe. I make it exactly the way you have the recipe written. I made this for all of my family and friends and every persons reaction is “this is the best chicken I’ve ever had!!” We love it. I can honestly say I don’ think it would be as awesome if I didn’t broil it at the end but I always do so everyone is satisfied.Thank you for sharing this with us.

  191. This dish is a family favorite, especially with my husband and toddler. I usually make it in the oven as per the directions, but decided to try it with the slow cooker. I skipped the foil packets, as suggested, and cooked the chicken (thighs and legs with bone and skin, but without the brine) directly in the cooker with the dry rub all around and on top. I used the low setting for 8 hours (my slow cooker automatically switches to warm thereafter), and I think it came out even better than in the oven! The top of the chicken was a bit crunchy, since it wasn’t steaming in the packet liquid, and the meat was very tender and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  192. This is one of my favorite recipes and I make it regularly in my crockpot. However, I have had to make some recent modifications to my diet and I wondering if anyone knows how this particular recipe would be affected if I skipped the brining (or just left out the sugar in it) and cut out the brown sugar in the rub?

  193. Oof. This recipe was not a win due to the cooking temperature specified. The chicken was cooked to the specified temperature but came out undercooked. Unfortunately I ate some of it before I put two and two together. The sauce was excellent but the wrong cooking temperature really took me by surprise – disappointing. :( We have the cookbook and have yet to have a miss. Will keep cooking other SK dishes and may try to replicate this sauce sans pan drippings.

  194. Made this tonight for dinner and it was outstanding. I didn’t add extra salt to the rub and was perfectly seasoned from the brine. Thanks again for a good weeknight meal!

  195. Just tried this tonight and was very pleased with the flavor. So yummy!!! I didn’t brine as long because of time constraints. Could this be why it was on the dry side? Either way, I’ll definitely be trying this again. So delicious. Thank you!

    1. Jennifer — Glad it was a hit, and yes, the brining definitely fills the meat with moisture so that it can bake for longer (or needs to).

  196. Making this for the second time for the special moms (lil old me included) in my life– that’s how much I love this recipe!

  197. Deb,

    THANK YOU. I mean seriously, thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever commented, but I love your website SO MUCH, and everything I have ever made of yours has turned out amazingly. (Also props to your awesome commenters who help make an awesome website better.) I’ve been cooking for a large group of in laws all week and I made this last night. They were all so impressed! I split the difference between the two temperatures (275) and did 1:15 before switching racks and cooking for another 1:15. Seriously moist, seriously delicious. Thanks again! (PS – I also have your book, which was a gift from my sister in law. We refer to you all the time: “Deb says you need to preheat the oven.” Hope that’s not creepy!)

  198. Excellent recipe. Real tasty and moist.
    Had it with some corn, baked pumpkin, and garlic bread and it was a hit.
    The only thing that didn’t work was the sauce. I know you warned us that it would be salty but it was just too much and wasn’t really edible.

  199. Deb!!! You have done it again. You recipes are so freaking RELIABLE!!! I made this yesterday with cornish hens and pork tenderloins (which I didnt brine). OMG. AH-MAZING! We grilled it over a charcoal grill and it was so delicious. We had it with a simple salad, some jollof rice and grilled corn. Thanks again for making me look like a star chef! lol

  200. I loved this recipe. I have used other dry rubs to make chicken thighs but this came out great. Juicy and scrumptious!!
    Thanks Deb.

  201. Holy cow! This is the best rub I’ve used in a LONG time! My new favorite bbq rub! Thanks! Agree with the poster who said your recipes are so reliable! Everyone I’ve tried has been a home run!

  202. Deb – I haven’t tried this yet but it’s on my list and looks delicious. You mention that the sauce comes out too salty. That’s notorious with wet brining poultry and in fact, many consider the pan drippings a throw away with wet brine. Say it ain’t so! You might consider a dry brine à la Judy Rodgers of Zuni Café. It works like a charm. Use 3/4 t salt per pound – you can adjust this up or down to your preference. Dry the chicken prior to applying rub or roasting. Her recipe is for whole chicken but I do it with all chicken parts and the results are amazing with a kick ass gravy to boot. I typically like to dry brine for 1-3 days.

  203. Hi Deb!

    I made this last night and upon your mention of the sauce always being just a little too salty I decided to improvise a bit. I used the drippings from the pan, added a little water, and a little cornstarch. As soon as it heated through it thickened right up and still had plenty of flavor, but not too much salt!

  204. Hi! I made this for a birthday dinner last night (with coleslaw, as you suggested!) and it was SO GOOD. The birthday boy had thirds, which is very unusual. But I’m sure you know how delicious it is. What I came here to share is that I added a little water and cornstarch to the drippings and it was perfect, just the right saltiness…but so funny, I see the comment before mine Julie did the same thing! *high five*
    Thanks for publishing, I’m really enjoying trying your recipes!

  205. Just tried this today and it was SO successful! It turned out a bit salty and when I turned the broiler on, it only took 5 minutes versus 30 minutes for it to roast the skint o a crisp – I almost burnt it! Must be I added too much brown sugar! But this was SO good – better than the stuff you buy outside. Thanks for sharing an excellent recipe!

  206. this is THE BOMB! incredibly easy – tasty – can serve as an alternative to “pulled pork” – i served it on sliders with those sweet hawaiian rolls…WOW! would be great with coleslaw to temper the sweetness and the heat a bit. Didn’t alter the original recipe at all.
    Crockpot/Slow cooker – 7-8 hours on low. AMAZING. (No foil…still a question often asked)… just stacked the chicken and rub in the cooker.

  207. Hello, Deb! This sounds like a great recipe. My question is how far in advance can I cook this chicken for a big party. Can it be served at room temperature? Any reheating tips?
    Thank you for all the wonderful stories amd recipes!

  208. Hey Deb!

    Would I be able to serve this for a shabbos lunch? (Translation: cooked on Friday, refrigerated and then warmed on Saturday afternoon) would much be lost? Thanks!!!

  209. made this last night, it turned out great! i’m a big fan of the oven ribs, but sometimes i’m not in the mood for ribs, so i was excited to try this version.

    i used two monster breasts and four or five little drumsticks (got a pack for a buck this week) totaling a little less than 5lbs, which i brined for an accidental 8 hours. i tweaked the rub only slightly – a T less of brown sugar, and a T added of cajun spice to make up for running out of both chili powder & paprika while making the rub. i also added 2t of dry mustard. i used the entire batch of rub. i did not find the chicken salty at all, it was delicious.

    i don’t have a cooling rack so i always just make a good foil packet and then put it directly on the oven rack, with a foil covered sheet pan on the rack below to catch any drips. (also, once they’re done you can kind of grab the packet with tongs and slide it onto the sheet pan for easy removal.) since i only did one packet, i didn’t move it at all during cooking. i did make the drippings bbq sauce while the chicken pieces were under the broiler at the end, and it was indeed too salty, but a good dose of sweet baby ray’s bbq sauce fixed that. (i keep it on hand for the occasional burger or hot dog, but it’s too sweet as regular bbq sauce so this combo was awesome. boyperson loved it.)

    we had it with the corn chowder salad! :)