Posted by: Catherine | July 27, 2009

Plain Ol’ BBQ Chicken and Bruce’s Secret Sauce




Who knew that the unconfidential cook was married to a confidential cook? It was actually Bruce’s suggestion that I post his bbq chicken, and I wish you could have seen the look on his face when I told him a) it might be too plain and simple to interest anyone and b) I would need the recipe for his bbq sauce. He said he only gives away this recipe as a trade for another…as he did when he got Bruce’s Chocolate Cheesecake (which I highly recommend). I asked a second time and simply suggested that he consider his dinners EVERY SINGLE NIGHT as a pretty good trade!

So, I got you the recipe, which qualifies for spoonalicious in our house. Whether we use it on chicken, pork tenderloin or ribs, we always serve a bowlful on the side and it always disappears. The secret to the chicken, Bruce says, is to stay with it the entire time it’s cooking, turning constantly, brushing on more sauce each time. This chicken took an hour. Even though we generally prefer breasts/white meat, we always opt for the thighs when Bruce bbqs–they carmelize perfectly and are a nice combo of moist and crisp. Do yourself a favor and buy extra thighs.

I have a particular fondness for Bruce’s bbq chicken because it was our first staple dinner-party fare when we started dating. We served it with a salad (first course) and Oven-Roasted Crispy Potatoes. Dessert was Our #1 Favorite Chocolate Cake. It was so simple, but so good–everyone enjoyed it, and we gained the confidence to venture forth to more complicated meals.

Bruce’s Secret BBQ Sauce

“Makes a big platter full of chicken,” says he.

1 18 oz. bottle of Kraft’s original BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 T brown sugar

3 T ketchup

2 t. yellow mustard

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl, says he….



  1. You look like you have plenty!! I’ll take any leftovers 😉

  2. I love secrets. This looks and sounds so fantastic!

  3. This chicken barbecue is really mouth watering. I’d love this with some steamed rice..

  4. Nothing plain about this gorgeous chicken!!!! I am writiing down this recipe for the sauce. Love that it works off the base of kraft bbq sauce. Now I am off to see your #1 choc cake..

  5. This looks really good, perfect summer eating (I wish our summer would come back long enough to warrant lighting the grill – all a bit rainy in London at the moment). I agree with you that thighs are so much more juicy than breast meat for barbecuing.

  6. Definitely trying this. Who can not resist spreading a secret. That chicken is out of this world.

  7. The chicken looks absolutely delicious! I love his use of maple syrup in the BBQ sauce- I bet it is very good!

  8. Thanks for sharing this secret recipe – sounds excellent with maple syrup!

  9. Oh wow, love the glistening look on this chicken. The sauce sounds superb!

  10. Plain my ass, bbq chicken is awesome. That looks great too, dressing up bottled sauce can get great results.

  11. This chicken looks far from plain! I love the charred little bits, yum!

    And served with potaties and chocolate cake- it sounds perfect.

  12. That’s so cute that he wanted you to post this on your blog! It certainly is blogworthy. My mouth was watering at those pictures.

    So good!!! Thanks Bruce for givin’ up your recipe!

  13. Oh! These BBQ chicken look so yummie! Love the idea of adding ingredients to the Kraft original BBQ sauce. The pictures are so tempting.

  14. Bruce’s sauce looks like it’s a winner. The chicken pics are making me very hungry…at 10:00am. I need to stop looking at food blogs while at my desk….not just because I should be working, but it makes me want to eat my lunch now!

  15. Oh my…I just ate lunch and your pictures are already setting my tummy rumbling. Looks delicious!!!

  16. Thanks for sharing the recipe…the chicken is so tantalizing..

  17. That looks scrumptious! I will definitely be trying this!

  18. Plain chicken plus secret sauce must be a special combination. Sounds like it would work.

  19. Mmm that bbq sounds terrific! I might just have to give ol’ Bruce’s recipe a test drive 🙂

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