Barbecued Chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    2 to 4


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

Barbecues were a focal point of my early nourishment. When I was young, hundreds of guests would arrive on special occasions for barbecues that consisted of long trenches specially dug on my father’s property. Wire was laid over these trenches to hold hundreds of pounds of chicken and ribs of pork, which were then basted for hours until the meat shredded at a touch.


  • 1 chicken (about pounds)
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil or, preferably, softened lard
  • Southern Barbecue Sauce


  • Prepare a charcoal grill and have it ready. The coals must be white-hot but not overly plentiful, or the food will cook too fast. Arrange the grill 6 to 8 inches above the coals.
  • Split the chicken in half for grilling. Place it skin side up on a flat surface and flatten it lightly with a flat mallet. This will help it lie flat on the grill. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with oil or rub with lard.
  • Place the chicken, skin side down, on the grill and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Brush the top with barbecue sauce and turn. Brush the skin side with sauce. Continue grilling and turning, brushing often with sauce, until chicken is thoroughly cooked, 30 minutes or less.
  • Give the chicken a final brushing with the sauce and remove to a serving dish.