Finger-Lickin’ Goodness (Papaw George’s Slopping BBQ Chicken Recipe)

Until I was six years old, I was the only grandchild on my Mom’s side. Still, I am the only granddaughter on both sides. Needless to say, I’m a tiiiiiny bit spoiled. (If you’re just visiting, I’m glad you know this about me and I hope will come again. Please invite your friends! For the rest of you, just roll your eyes and continue reading. Thanks!)

Me & Papaw George April '92 This photo was taken when he received a "Lifetime of Service" award from the American Trucking Association; he died three months later, in July.

My mother’s father died when I was 8 years old, but I have fond memories of my Papaw George. He had a big belly, wore polyester pants and shiny leather boots, drank Bourbon, owned a truck and tire company, enjoyed house-boating, and loved hosting backyard get-togethers with friends and family. My favorite Papaw George recipe is BBQ chicken. I always called this “sloppy chicken” because it was so messy and you weren’t eating it correctly if you didn’t have sauce all over your face, hands, and clothing. But “eternity chicken” could be appropriate, because when you’re hungry it seems like the chicken takes FOREVER to cook!

Papaw always used a charcoal grill and cut-up whole chickens – one reason it took forever to cook on a charcoal grill. Today, I used leg quarters (leg and thigh attached) and cooked the chicken on the grill as well as the oven.  There really is no official recipe with exact measurements or ingredients, but here’s my best attempt  on a family favorite. Note: I used Smart Balance butter (it’s milk-free) and Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar barbecue sauce – you use whatever you prefer!

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and preheat gas grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Add three tablespoons of butter to a large baking dish. Coat the bottom of the dish with your favorite barbecue sauce, approximately one cup. Place baking dish in the preheating oven. The butter will melt as the oven heats, stir at least once.
  3. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika (for color) and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Place chicken, skin side down, on grill. Sear 2-3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the chicken and beware of flare-ups.
  5. Remove chicken from grill and transfer to baking dish; cover with foil. Decrease oven to 350° and bake 60 minutes. When 15 minutes remain, uncover dish. I like to turn the chicken at least twice as it bakes, spooning the sauce over all pieces.

Look at those grill marks, I'm the next Bobby Flay!!!

Don’t know about you, but this chicken looks finger-licking good!!!

Hope everybody’s having a great weekend. I have successfully wasted a beautiful and sunny day by staying inside and completing  a month’s worth of lesson plans, laundry, and tweaking Papaw George’s “slopping” chicken recipe. Oh well.





  1. Wow, those look really good. I never thought to do both the grill and over. Thanks.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m glad you found the BBQ chicken recipe. It’s so simple and dee-lish. I want to get more sale-priced chicken at the local grocery. This is a perfect recipe for summertime grilling. Just make sure you have extra napkins handy!!!!

      🙂 Nicole

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