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.