This simple lick-your-fingers, glaze-y chicken is perfect for a small cookout. The glaze has just the right amount of sweetness and can be made ahead. To get the mix of thighs, drumsticks, and breasts you’ll need, buy two whole chickens and cut them into parts yourself, or you can look in your butcher’s display case for bone-in parts that are about the same size—legs about 5 oz. each, thighs about 6 oz., and breast halves a little more than a pound each.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the preserves, vinegar, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and a large pinch of salt; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. (If making ahead, store covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.)
Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Using a stiff wire brush, scrub the cooking grate thoroughly. Dip a folded paper towel into vegetable oil and, using tongs, rub it over the grill grate.
Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Set the parts skin side down on the grill. Cook, covered, until the skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stay near the grill, especially during the first 10 minutes, to manage any flare-ups, by moving pieces out of the way. If the chicken is browning too quickly, turn the heat down slightly or close the vents partially. Flip the chicken and cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°F in the thickest part of each piece, 5 to 10 minutes more. The thighs, legs, and thinner breast pieces are apt to cook a little faster than the thicker breast pieces. Transfer each piece to a platter when done and tent with foil.
When all the chicken is done, brush it with the glaze on all sides. Return the chicken to the grill and cook for another minute or so on each side to caramelize the glaze. Brush the chicken with any remaining glaze and serve.
Make Ahead Tips
The apricot glaze can be made up to a day ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. Before using, warm over low heat to loosen the consistency.
To start things off, let the guests nibble on Grilled Flatbreads with Lemon-Garlic Oil with Herbs and serve the chicken with Potato Salad with Olives, Scallions & Garden Herbs and Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes, Arugula & Basil Dressing with Lemon-Buttermilk Pudding Cakes for dessert.
I brined bone in chicken breasts, then grilled and glazed them. I used peach preserves as I was serving a peach salad with the dish. I doubled the glaze and reserved half to serve aside the chicken. Next time I will try white balsamic vinegar as the remaining glaze looked muddy. A big hit with my husband and guests.
This is quite possibly the best chicken I have ever made! I did not have rosemary but otherwise followed the recipe. The family said this one was going on the regular rotation. Thank you!
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