I LOVE grilled chicken!! Especially in the scorching heat of the summer. But large, bone-in chicken pieces can take quite a long time on the grill when cooking them the whole way, start to finish, outdoors. It can also be very easy for them to get over-cooked and dried out, unfortunately.
So, I sometimes like to precook my chicken pieces in the oven, especially for parties or when expecting company, because you can then just toss them onto the grill for just 10-15 minutes, and there’s no long wait, grill tending, and the pieces just basically get a “finish coat” and some gorgeous grill marks!
GREAT for entertaining, because you can bake the pieces well in advance! Then you get to enjoy the party and your guests, too, instead of standing over a smoking, throat-choking grill for hours.
So here’s how to cheat just a little! 😉
I simply lightly season my chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and sometimes other ingredients depending on the sauce I’m planning on using, and place them into a baking dish with a little chicken broth.
Cover them well and pop them into the oven and bake at 350º for 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is practically falling off the bone, super tender, and very juicy!
Take the chicken out of the oven and the dish you baked the pieces in, and loosely cover with foil to rest and cool down a bit.
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While the chicken is resting, whip up whatever sauce you like to baste and grill with! 😀 *You can also make the sauce while the chicken is baking.
You’ll lastly toss the pieces onto the grill, fully basted with your sauce, (in this case, my delicious honey-mustard sauce!), and grill and baste to absolute perfection! Placing them onto hot, oiled, grill grates will produce fantastic grill marks quickly before the chicken has a chance to dry out, and dinner will be on the table in literally minutes!
It’s just that simple! Just a few simple steps to GORGEOUSLY “grilled” chicken!
So when you have company over, or just want to get a head start, bake the chicken up to a day ahead of time, remove it to a clean dish, smother with sauce, cover and chill!
Then about a half an hour before you want to grill, remove your chicken from the fridge to bring to room temp. Don’t worry, it won’t spoil in just 30 minutes after being fully cooked.
Keep your grill lid closed to make sure that it gets completely re-heated through, especially if you started with chilled chicken pieces. And grill each side for a few minutes, to cook and set the sauce, and get those professional-looking grill marks!
And if you’ve planned ahead and already have side dishes prepared, you’re all set!
I do hope that you give this cooking method and delicious sauce a try soon! It’s a wonderful way to break in the grill, get a nice taste of spring, and some much needed fresh air!
Grill Basting Sauce: