Liquid smoke adds a hint of smokiness to the chicken. Look for it with the condiments in the grocery store.
You can easily double or triple this recipe for a larger crowd; just make sure there is a little space between each chicken leg on the pan and work in batches if necessary.
- 2 pounds (skin-on, bone-in) chicken legs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (any tomato- or mustard-based sauce), divided
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1 Marinate the chicken: Set the chicken legs in a shallow dish and sprinkle both sides with salt. If you're using liquid smoke, mix it into the barbecue sauce. Brush the legs all over with 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce, reserving the rest.
Cover, and set in fridge to marinate at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
2 Prepare the chicken for cooking: Set the broiler to high with a rack positioned a few inches below. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a metal cooling rack (like the ones used for baking) inside (or use a broiler pan).
Arrange the marinated chicken legs on the wire rack with a little space between each leg.
3 Sear the chicken: Slide the pan under broiler, and broil chicken on one side until you begin to see dark brown charred spots, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip, and sear the second side until also browned, another 3 to 5 minutes or so.
4 Turn the oven to 350F and reposition the rack in the middle of the oven.
5 Finish cooking the chicken: Brush chicken all over with all but a tablespoon of the remaining sauce. Slide into the oven and bake 15 minutes. Flip chicken, and brush with the remaining sauce anywhere it's needed.
Continue baking until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F when testing with a meat thermometer, another 15 to 20 minutes.
6 Serve chicken right away while hot, with extra barbecue sauce on the side.