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The ultimate BBQ chicken is slightly tangy and sticky sweet. Learn the restaurant secrets to cooking perfectly tender BBQ chicken and how to make a gloriously sweet and spicy sauce to mop on top of it.

Spicy Bourbon Peach BBQ Chicken

  • Author: Mila Furman
  • Total Time: 90 minutes
  • Yield: 16 people 1x


The ultimate BBQ chicken is slightly tangy and sticky sweet. Learn the restaurant secrets to cooking perfectly tender BBQ chicken and how to make a gloriously sweet and spicy sauce to mop on top of it.



Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 peaches roughly chopped
  • 1 large Spanish onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 serrano pepper (whole and poked through with a knife)
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • juice of one lime
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 2 cups water
  • Kosher salt


  • 4 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 1 recipe of my 5 minute homemade Italian Dressing


BBQ Sauce

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and peaches. Toss and cook for 5-7 minutes until tender.
  3. Add ketchup and cook about 2 minutes. Add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Into a blender, add the onion and peach mixture along with the bourbon. You can also do this right in the pot with a stick blender if you have one. Puree until nice and smooth and no lumps remain.
  5. Into the pot, add vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder and 2 cups water.
  6. With a knife, prick the serrano peppers and throw them into the sauce. This method allows all the flavor to come out but still keeps the heat on the milder side.
  7. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits, until reduced by half, this will take about 30 minutes. Make sure to taste the sauce as the flavors melt together to ensure there is a nice even flavor of sweet, spicy and tangy developing. Adjust with molasses, vinegar or lime as necessary.
  8. Remove the serrano pepper and place into a sealed container or a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.


  1. Place the chicken into a ziplock bag and pour the 5 Minute Homemade Italian Dressing over it. Shake, shake, shake and allow to marinade for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.
  2. Prepare grill for medium heat.
  3. Spray the grill liberally with a non-stick spray
  4. Grill, turning frequently until nicely brown, 15–20 minutes.*
  5. If you have a powerful grill, I like to turn down the grill to a nice low heat and start basting my chicken. If your grill has multiple rack levels, place the chicken on the highest level away from the flames. This makes the chicken less likely to be the cause of flare ups which can burn the skin.
  6. If you had opened the grill go ahead and close it at this point. As long as the heat is low enough, the flare-ups should not be a problem,
  7. Start basting the chicken with the BBQ sauce with a pastry brush. Feel free to use as much or as little as you like. I like mine super saucy so I use quite a bit.
  8. Continue grilling, turning and basting with barbecue sauce often, until chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 8–10 minutes longer.


  1. If you want the heat to deepen from the serrano, feel free to leave the pepper in the jar. It will deepen the flavor and the heat.
  2. Depending on the strength of your grill, you can grill the chicken with the grill open. This discourages too many flare-ups and allows for less charring and more of an even cooking process.
  3. The important thing about a really delicious BBQ Chicken is to add the BBQ sauce in layers. Allow the sauce to settle into the chicken and caramelize a bit in between basting it with more layers.
  4. You can use the exact same technique by making this chicken in the oven if it happens to be a colder day. Just heat up the oven to 375 degrees and follow the same steps.
  5. Nutritional information should only be used as a guide.


  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Cuisine: BBQ