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Kansas City-Style Barbecued Chicken

Kansas City-Style Barbecued Chicken

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 85 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves 4.
Kansas City is renowned for its fine barbecue, and this thick, sweet sauce is typical of the region. To prevent the sauce from burning, brush it on the chicken during the final minutes of cooking.


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb., cut into 8 serving


In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the canola oil. Add the onions and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, corn syrup, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, vinegar, mustard, red pepper flakes and paprika. Stir to mix, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Arrange the chicken on the grill and cook, turning frequently with tongs to prevent scorching, until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Begin basting the chicken with the sauce and continue cooking, turning often and basting with more sauce, until the chicken is crisp, tender and glazed with sauce, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve immediately and pass the remaining sauce alongside.
Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.