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Grilled Chicken with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce and Spicy Slaw

Photo: Thomas J. Story
Total time 1 hr, 45 mins
Yield Serves 6
This recipe comes from Kelly Liken of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, CO. Don't forget to pack a heatproof brush for basting the chicken.


  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. hot sauce such as Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey such as Jack Daniel's
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • SLAW
  • 1 pound cabbage, cut into shreds
  • 1/4 red onion, cut into long slivers
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 chicken legs with thighs attached or small bone-in breast halves (3 3/4 lbs. total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 463
  • caloriesfromfat 41 %
  • protein 36 g
  • fat 22 g
  • satfat 4.5 g
  • carbohydrate 30 g
  • fiber 2.3 g
  • sodium 999 mg
  • cholesterol 119 mg

How to Make It

  1. AT HOME

  2. Make sauce: Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer 45 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally with a long spoon (sauce spatters). Add a little water if sauce gets too thick to pour. Let cool, then transfer to a plastic container and chill up to 1 week.

  3. Make slaw: Toss vegetables in a large bowl to blend. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Put remaining ingredients in a small container with a tight-fitting lid. Chill slaw and dressing up to 2 days.

  4. Prepare chicken: In a large bowl, coat chicken in oil; pack in a resealable plastic bag and chill up to 2 days, or freeze.

  5. In CAMP

  6. Build a charcoal or wood fire in a grill and let burn to medium (350° to 450°; you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Bring salad dressing to room temperature. Set aside 1/2 cup sauce.

  7. Grill chicken until browned all over, about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Turn again, generously brush tops with some of remaining sauce, and cook a few minutes; repeat turning and brushing 2 more times, until chicken is well-browned and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes total.

  8. Toss slaw and dressing in a large bowl and serve with chicken and reserved sauce.

  9. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail, Colorado