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Sunny's OJ BBQ Butterflied Chicken

Sunny Anderson's OJ BBQ Butterflied Chicken
Sunny Anderson's OJ BBQ Butterflied ChickenNathan Congleton / TODAY


  • One 5- to 7-pound roaster chicken, butterflied
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, preferably Frank's RedHot or Cholula
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chef notes

You can make this chicken today! No overnight brining needed and the ingredients are usually on hand. Plus, by butterflying the chicken, you save plenty of cooking time.


For the chicken:

Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Rest on the counter for 2 hours to allow it to come to room temperature.

For the sauce:

In a sauce pot over medium heat, add the orange juice, garlic, brown sugar, mustard and hot sauce and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, while stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is reduced a bit. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To cook:

For grilling- Preheat the grill to 400°F or medium-high heat. Place the chicken over the direct heat of the grill, skin side down. Brush the inside of the chicken with glaze and grill until the skin releases from the grates easily. Then flip it and move it to the indirect heat side of the grill.

Brush the top with the glaze only towards the end of the grilling process when the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes total (so begin glazing about 25-30 minutes in).

Remove to a plate and rest, tented with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes before cutting.

For oven roasting- Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large oven safe pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Right as the oil begins to smoke, add the chicken, skin side down. Press gently while cooking and allow to sear until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Using tongs flip the bird over so that the skin is on top and place the pan in the oven. When an instant read thermometer inserted into the chicken reads around the 140°F mark, about 50 minutes in, remove it from the oven and brush on the glaze. Return to the oven and continue to cook until a thermometer reads 165°F, about 20 minutes more.