I went to Cleveland this past weekend to visit two of my oldest friends, Mike and Sarah, who happen to be married to each other.

I’ve known them since nursery and kindergarten! And now they have the most adorable baby boy.

Here, you can see some pics of us all over the years.

Sarah and her brother used to come stay with my family in Martha’s Vineyard for a week in the summer since we had a house there. Her brother was also in the same grade as my brother. Here are Sarah and me on my dad’s boat :)

Here’s Sarah and Erica (remember her from my bday cake post a month ago?) and me at Sarah’s bachelorette party:

I can’t believe we forgot to take a pice of all of us while I was visiting! I had such a good time with Sarah and Mike, and got the bonus surprise of having her parents visit too, so we had some good catching up :)

Anyway, since Mike typically has to work crazy hours and they’re both busy taking care of the baby, I figured I’d take the opportunity to make them a yummy dinner. Sarah suggested that I take advantage of their grill since I don’t have one in nyc, and that’s exactly what I did.

The weather was so nice. It was perfect for being out on the deck grilling.

Now I have to tell you that I’m not much of a griller. That was always the men’s job in my household (although my mom is pretty good at it). I guess no one ever really showed me how. I can never tell when the meat is cooked.

But that’s what’s perfect about this chicken. You bake it first til it’s fully cooked, so there’s no chance of undercooking it on the grill. The grilling part is basically just used to caramelize the sauce on it and heat it back up. Also, because you bake it ahead of time, you can make it mostly the day ahead and just heat it on the grill the day you’re ready to barbecue. Easy peasy.

Note that I took the pics before flipping the chicken. Yours should have grill marks and crispy skin on both sides when it’s ready.

Come back on Thursday for that salsa recipe I’ve been promising you, just in time for the 4th of July!

Important notes about the recipe:

You have to use skin on, bone-in chicken pieces or it will dry out. If you don’t like the skin, take it off when you’re ready to eat it, not before it’s cooked completely. It holds the moisture in. For this weekend, I used 4 breast pieces and a pack of chicken thighs. The breasts took maybe 10 extra minutes in the oven. You know they’re done when you prick it with a fork and the juices that come out are clear. If you’re worried with the big pieces, you can make a small incision in the thickest part and check that it’s not pink. If it’s a little pink it shouldn’t be a problem since they do end up cooking a bit more while on the grill.

Easy Grilled BBQ Chicken
Recipe from mom

Print this recipe!

Serves 4


2 lbs chicken pieces, bone-in, skin on
Seasoning: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, etc
Equal parts of your favorite bbq sauce and Saucy Susan or other Sweet and Sour sauce (found in the ethnic aisle of supermarkets)


Bring chicken to room temperature. Liberally season chicken on both sides. Bake chicken, skin side up, at 350 for 30 min or until juices run clear when pierced with fork. Chicken should be completely, or almost completely cooked.

Cool chicken, or refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temp before grilling.

Mix equal parts of your favorite brand of barbecue sauce and sweet and sour sauce. The amount you use depends on how sauce you like your chicken, but I used about 1/2 small bottle of bbq sauce and had enough left for dipping.

Brush underside of chicken with bbq sauce mixture and place on grill. Grill 5-10 minutes or until grill marks form and sauce is caramelized.

Brush tops of chicken pieces and flip over, grilling skin side. Leave 5-10 min or until other side is crispy. Remove from grill and enjoy!

Remember, the chicken is fully cooked before grilling, so this step is really just to get that lovely caramelization.


  1. Great pictures! I can’t wait for the salsa recipe.

  2. That’s so cool that you are all still so close. It sounds like a fun visit. Precooking the chicken is a great idea. It can sometimes be hard to regulate the temperature of the grill. I’ve burnt many a chicken breast before.

    • Yeah, it’s really nice to still keep in touch with my grade school friends. We were blessed to have gone to such a small close-knit school :)

  3. I love your picture with the faces circled… so cute! How awesome that your friends knew each other that long, and got married :)

    This chicken looks great too! Barbecue chicken is my favorite. Seriously. I’ve been into the white barbecue sauces lately – the vinegar based ones. There is a local barbecue joint in town that makes the best Carolina style chicken. I will have to test a recipe sometime!

    • I know, right? They weren’t dating the whole time but went to hs together and then reconnected after college :) It’s a cute story.

      I have some good homemade bbq sauce recipes, and of course you could certainly use your own. This is just a nice quick way to do it!

  4. A quick clarification from the Mom: Make sure the chicken is room temperature before baking so that it will only need 30-40 minutes to cook. If you really need to bake skinless breasts (definitely not as good), pound them first to get them all to one thickness. Then they will cook evenly and they will not take as long – do not overcook!

  5. wow what a wonderful family recipe. love how your mom is commenting. :D bbq chicken on a grill is a classic!

  6. Hi Amy,
    I am a friend of your mom and yesterday at golf she told me about your blog. I am so happy she sent it to me because I got to see an updated picture (we met about 7-8 yrs ago during holiday dinner). What a fabulous way to connect with friends and others. And I can see you and your mom share that love of cooking. Very cool. Love your sauce recipee, I have used that combination many times but add a little kick to it with crushed red pepper. Hope your enjoying your new apt.
    Janis Lax

    • Hi Janis! Thanks for stopping by. Sure, I remember you :) I’m glad you enjoy my blog. I’ll def try adding some red pepper to this next time I make it!

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  8. That looks so yummy! I also love that it’s baked before grilled, because I would definitely be the girl to undercook the chicken at a dinner party :P Now if only I had access to a grill…

    • Hehe, trust me, I’ve def undercooked chicken before. That’s why this is so perfect :) I wish I had a grill too! That’s what friends are for ;)

    • I’ve undercooked it too. Luckily I had a feeling and cut a piece open to check before I served it to about 10 people. This is a really great looking recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks Amy.

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