Barbeque chicken South African style is my favourite way of cooking chicken on the grill. The chicken pieces are pre-cooked in a tangy marinade, ensuring perfectly cooked barbeque chicken every single time.
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The perfect way to barbeque chicken
Cooking chicken pieces on the barbeque can be a tricky business. You either end up with chicken that is undercooked against the bone, or dried out on the outside from leaving it on the coals for too long to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
Having lived in South Africa for many years (and consequently having a barbeque at least once a week), I’ve had plenty of time to perfect this method of getting perfectly cooked chicken on a barbeque every single time.
Barbequed chicken can be dry and tasteless if it’s not cooked properly, but this method of making barbeque chicken is guaranteed to deliver the tastiest and most succulent chicken you have ever tasted.
I think you will just love this barbeque chicken recipe.
- No more dry or undercooked barbeque chicken ever again.
- Moist, succulent chicken pieces every time
- Quick and easy – perfectly cooked chicken pieces on the barbeque in only 15 minutes
- Empty plates all round – what more could you ask for?
So without further ado, let me show you how to make the perfect barbequed chicken – South African style.
- Prep time – 15 minutes
- Barbeque time – 15 minutes
- Yield – the quantities given for the marinade will be sufficient for 8 to 10 pieces of chicken. If you want to make more chicken pieces, just double marinade ingredients.
- Calories – 137 calories per piece of chicken.
- Main equipment – you will need a saucepan with a lid , and of course a barbeque grill. I use one similar to this weber barbeque which comes in different sizes for small and large families, but if you are looking for a cheaper option I quite like the look of this folding portable barbeque which is handy for taking on a picnic.
- If you don’t have a grill don’t worry, you can cook this chicken in the oven or on the stovetop and I’ve included these instructions below.
Chicken pieces– I’ve used chicken drumsticks, but you can use a mixture of chicken thighs, breasts or even wings. If you are using chicken breasts, it would be best to leave the skin on as this will:
- help to prevent the breasts from drying out on the barbeque, and
- turn lovely and crispy as it is grilled.
These are simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry:
- Chutney – use your favourite brand. For this recipe I used shop-bought mango chutney. South African readers will probably want to use Mrs Balls chutney and this recipe for homemade pear and onion chutney would work well too.
- Cayenne pepper – adjust this according to how hot you would like the spices to be. I used half a teaspoon for just a hint of heat.
- Sunflower oil – don’t use olive oil, it will change the flavour of the marinade. You could use and neutral vegetable oil or canola oil instead.
- Salt – this is optional, but it does add to the flavour.
- Tomato sauce – or tomato ketchup.
- Worcestershire sauce – if you don’t have Worcestershire sauce you can substitute with dark soy sauce, or even HP brown sauce.
- Water – just to help all the ingredients combine/
What to do
Start off by combining all the marinade ingredients in a saucepan that is large enough to hold all your chicken pieces.
Submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade and turn them to coat all over.
Cover the saucepan with a lid, bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to a strong simmer and allow the chicken to cook in the marinade for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before placing on the barbeque.
You can barbeque the chicken immediately or leave it to stand in the marinade until you need it. If you are making this in advance, allow to cool completely, and then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Once you are ready to barbeque, arrange the chicken pieces on the grill towards the edges of the barbeque. Don’t put them directly over the hot coals or the skin may burn.
Grill for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, and use a pair of tongs to dip the chicken pieces in the remaining marinade at least twice during the cooking time.
Once the chicken is cooked you can serve it immediately, or keep it warm in a baking dish covered with a lid or tinfoil, in the oven set to 80C / 175F while you barbeque any other meat you may be cooking.
Cooking in the oven
Boil the chicken pieces in the marinade and then arrange them in a baking dish with about 1 cup of the marinade.
Cover the dish with a lid or a layer of tinfoil and bake at 200C/400F for 20 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes to allow the chicken to brown.
Top tip – line your baking tray with tinfoil before adding the chicken – it makes for much easier cleaning.
Cooking on the stove
Boil the chicken pieces in the marinade and then arrange them in a large frying pan with about 1 cup of the marinade.
Fry over a medium heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through. This should take about 15 minutes.
What to serve with barbeque chicken
I like to serve this chicken with slices of crusty bread and a variety of salads.
- Copper penny carrot salad
- Smoked salmon pasta salad
- Orzo pasta summer salad
- Potato salad – made with homemade mayonnaise
- Spicy mushroom fried rice
- and of course, a fresh leafy green salad with tomatoes goes perfectly with chicken.
You can freeze the chicken once it has boiled in the marinade. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and transfer to a suitable freezer container. A ziploc bag or rigid plastic container would be ideal. Transfer the marinade to another bag and freeze separately from the chicken. Both the marinade and chicken can be frozen for up to 4 months.
To use, allow the chicken and marinade to defrost in the refrigerator then transfer the defrosted marinade to a saucepan so that you can use it for dipping the chicken as you grill it.
Alternatively you can freeze the barbequed chicken for up to 4 months, defrost it in the refrigerator and then reheat either in the microwave or in the oven.
Yes, if you have been invited to a barbeque or you are just going on a picnic, you can boil up the chicken and then take the covered saucepan with you. Once you get to your destination, place the saucepan in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. If you are taking it on a picnic, place the cooled saucepan in a cooker box with a few ice-packs to keep it cold until you are ready to barbeque.
This barbequed chicken can be stored in a covered container overnight and reheated for lunch the next day. The chicken will still be moist and juicy. Alternatively, the cold chicken makes delicious sandwiches.
I normally reheat leftovers in a covered dish in the microwave. I have a 900-watt microwave and 3 minutes on full power is sufficient to make the chicken piping hot. Different wattage microwaves may take a longer or shorter time.
To reheat in the oven, place the chicken into a covered container and heat at 200C/400F for about 10 minutes. If you have leftover marinade, you can pour this over the chicken before reheating.
Don’t forget to check out my handy Cookery Conversion Calculator if you want to convert any of your recipe measurements from grams to cups, ounces, tablespoons or millilitres and vice versa. You can also use the calculator for converting oven temperatures between Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Gas marks.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read all about it in this post on baking at high altitudes.
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Barbeque chicken South African style
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- Barbeque grill
- 8 pieces chicken drumsticks, thighs, breasts, wings or a combination
- 2 tablespoons chutney 2
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon cayenne peper or to your own taste
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral flavoured oil
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large saucepan (with a lid)
- Submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade and turn them to coat all over.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid, bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to a strong simmer and allow the chicken to cook in the marinade for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before placing on the barbeque.
- Once you are ready to barbeque, arrange the chicken pieces on the grill towards the edges of the barbeque. Don't put them directly over the hot coals or the skin may burn.
- Grill for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, and use a pair of tongs to dip the chicken pieces in the remaining marinade at least twice during the cooking time
- Once the chicken is cooked you can serve it immediately, or keep it warm in a baking dish covered with a lid or tinfoil, in the oven set to 80C / 175F while you barbeque any other meat you may be cooking.
- Serve with slices of crusty garlic bread and a selection of salads.
- Boil the chicken pieces in the marinade and then arrange them in a baking dish with about 1 cup of the marinade.
- Cover the dish with a lid or a layer of tinfoil and bake at 200C/400F for 20 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes to allow the chicken to brown.
- Boil the chicken pieces in the marinade and then arrange them in a large frying pan with about 1 cup of the marinade.
- Fry over medium heat, turning occasionally until the chicken is completely cooked through. This should take about 15 minutes.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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