The final post in our Tony Roma’s throwback meal, the BBQ chicken is the easiest part of the whole meal. Sticky, tangy, sweet tomato based BBQ sauce is slathered over chicken and caramelized in the oven. When we would go to the restaurant as a kid, my dad and my brother would order the ribs, while my mom and I would order chicken. I think it was our attempt at staying on the healthier side since we were eating a giant loaf of onion rings and french fries with the main course. I have to say, sometimes I long for the days when you’re a kid and menus mean nothing to you.I don’t remember prices on there, or deciding on whether or not to have a starch with the meal. There was no nutritional content printed next to the meals shaming you from ordering things (I genuinely would not want to see what the nutritional content is for the onion loaf, but I am guessing they made one order serve 20 to bring down the numbers, haha). It was such a period of innocence. Innocence that leads to these delicious food memories. These days we reserve this meal for a once in a while type dish or we make altered versions of it. I usually make the bbq chicken with white meat, or pork tenderloin. The cole slaw is regularly made with light mayo (spoiler alert, it still tastes great!) and the onion rings are made in one small mini loaf pan to be shared by everyone. You’ve gotta enjoy life, even during the summer when swimsuits are the clothing of choice!
Add the first 8 ingredients (all of them until you get to the chicken) into a saucepan and whisk until combined. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes. Set oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cool for 35-40 minutes, or until nice and crispy.
Coat with BBQ sauce, then put under broiler for a few minutes. Put the pan on the top rack under the broiler.
With the oven door open watch the sauce as it begins to bubble and caramelize.
When it is browned to your liking, take out. This chicken was under the broiler for 2 minutes.
Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in a slow cooker on low for 7 hours, skin side up with only salt and pepper added. NO liquids. I made the chicken both ways for this recipe. Here is the slow cooker chicken before covering with BBQ sauce.
Remove chicken gently from slow cooker and follow the rest of the directions.
Serve with Onion Loaf, Cole Slaw, and lots of extra BBQ sauce!
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 8 pieces chicken of your choice - skin and bone on (preferably)
- salt and pepper
- Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and whisk until combined.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 45 minutes.
- Set oven to 400 degrees.
- Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
- Cook chicken for 35-40 minutes.
- Coat with BBQ sauce, then put under broiler for a few minutes.
- Put the pan on the top rack under the broiler.
- With the oven door open watch the sauce as it begins to bubble and caramelize.
- When it is browned to your liking, take out.
- Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in a slow cooker on low for 7 hours, skin side up with only salt and pepper added. NO liquids.
- Remove chicken gently from slow cooker and follow the rest of the directions.
- Serve with onion loaf, cole slaw, and lots of extra BBQ sauce!
Delish. This was easy to make and was a hit with my family. Thanks for sharing this nice keeper.
What type of vinegar do you use….white, apple cider or other or doesn’t it matter????
Hi! It will be white unless otherwise stated.
Can Splenda or any other sugar substitute diet used. If so would the amount still be the same 2 tsp..
I’ve not tested it using Splenda so I can’t really say what would work.
This looks delicious, but I am just wondering if you think that honey would work as a substitute for the corn syrup. Thank you!
It will change the flavor profile a bit but would work as a substitute. Enjoy!
I have not made this BQ chicken yet but I’m giving you 5 stars because all of your cole slaws (and I now have made them all) are delicious. I want to try this BQ chicken to go with your slaw recipes. I usually prepare both thighs and breasts but I remove skin because my family won’t eat it. Will I be sacrificing flavor if I remove skin? Thank you for providing such a professional website. I use it so often with much success.
It’ll still be delicious!
This was absolutely delicious, the chicken was so moist and scrumptious, thanks so much for the recipe, will make this over and over again.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
I just want to thank you! I am a breastfeeding mama who’s baby is allergic to dairy, egg, wheat and coconut. I am so grateful I came across your site because there are so many recipes I can try and also love all the crock pot options!
I am so glad to be here to help!!
I have only eaten at Tony Roma’s once. I honestly don’t remember what I ate, but I know it was good! I won’t miss an opportunity to eat a recipe inspired by it!
This barbecue sauce is really tasty, I hope you enjoy it!
I love Tony Roma’s. Especially the BBQ chicken! That’s one of my favorite recipes there! I will be trying this one at home!
I hope you get to try it soon! Let me know how it turns out.
My mouth is watering looking at this! I cannot wait to make this BBQ chicken!
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it!
Love this chicken! It looks so good…yum!
The BBQ chicken looks insane. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Haha Thank you!
That looks delicious. You wouldn’t think I just ate dinner. This has my tummy grumbling… #greedy
Haha that is awesome. When I put up the post in the mornings I crave what I am posting. So this week it has been a lot of interesting foods that I am craving before the sun even comes up.
This looks better than what the restaurant serves! So delicious!
So sweet! Thank you 🙂
You can’t beat BBQ and slaw!
i have never been to Tony Roma’s we don’t have one near here. But I love making BBQ chicken however I just use my oven I do not use slow cookers. 🙂
That’s so dang good!! This is one of my absolutely faves! I always use chicken thighs and it comes out ah-may-zing!
Yay. Ps I love your blog! I make the baked chicken and rice ALL the time!
Your chicken looks amazing. The crispy on the skin is perfect.
Thank you 🙂
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Another great Tony Roma’s recipe!! Now people can enjoy the meals without leaving home!
I know using the broiler is key for that outside crispy crunch. I will have to make this and pay Tony Roma’s a visit to compare.
Mmm that barbeque would be so good right now. I’d definitely have to try it with the slow cooker first!
You will LOVE how chicken cooks in the slow cooker, I promise!
You’ve made it sound so easy! I need to try this recipe. I am a huge fan of my slow cooker, so I’ll definitely try it that way too.
I love barbecue chicken. I have got to make this soon.
Hope you love it!
This looks fantastic!!
This looks great! I’ve never had anything of Tony Roma but this looks so amazing!
This looks really yummy. I think I need to make this for dinner this weekend.
I hope you love it! Come back and tell me what you thought of it if you can 🙂
Yum! I miss Tony Roma’s – I remember going there all the time as a child.
I miss it too! That’s why I had to figure out a way to have more. Now if I could only find the recipe to Pioneer Chicken!
Is Tony Roma’s a restaurant? Because if so, and this is the kind of food they serve, we need one here in Boston!
Yes! It was hugely popular in the 80s and 90s. It still exists but it isn’t the destination restaurant it used to be sadly.
This is one of the best dish series I’ve seen in a while. Everything on this plate is spectacular!
YUM! You can’t beat good barbecue with coleslaw. That’s Nomtastic!