Italian Barbecued Chicken (with Polenta)

In my recent polenta post, I mentioned that I came across a BBQ chicken recipe from Rachael Ray which I intended on making soon, and decided to try it out last night. I made a few modifications like I normally do, and all I can say is… WOW! The sauce is truly delectable and really makes the dish. I took some to work today, and finished every single last bite! So if you like chicken, and want a delicious new way to make it, I highly suggest you try this recipe.


  • 4 bone-in chicken thigh and leg or chicken breasts 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp. grill seasoning
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 thick cut slices pancetta or bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce  
  • 1 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Torn fresh basil leaves
  • Polenta


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, and grill seasoning.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet and brown the chicken a few minutes on each side to put some of its flavor and drippings into the pan, then transfer to oven and roast 10 minutes more.
  4. Meanwhile, if using pancetta or bacon, add to pan, and cook until crisp. Remove from pan, crumble and set aside.
  5. If not using the meat, put one more tablespoon olive oil into pan, and add onions, garlic and rosemary. Cook 5 minutes, then add the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth.
  6. Reduce heat to low and let sauce simmer 5 minutes more.
  7. Remove chicken from oven, place in barbecue sauce, add bacon or pancetta (if using) and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. Fill shallow bowls with polenta, top with chicken, spoon extra sauce over chicken and garnish with some torn basil leaves.

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