Donna’s Family Favorite Barbecued Chicken: A Hearty and Flavorful Recipe

When it comes to comfort food, nothing beats a classic family recipe. Donna’s Family Favorite Barbecued Chicken is one such dish, combining the heartiness of chicken with a rich, homemade barbecue sauce. Perfect for family gatherings or a cozy dinner, this recipe is sure to be a hit. Here’s how to make it.

Donna’s Family Favorite Barbecued Chicken: A Hearty and Flavorful Recipe


  • 5 pounds of boneless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • Flour, for frying
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of catsup or a 28 oz bottle
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cups water


  1. Prepare the Chicken:
    • Begin by cutting the boneless chicken breasts in half. Lightly flour the chicken pieces. This not only adds a bit of texture but also helps in thickening the sauce later.
    • In a frying pan, fry the chicken pieces until they are golden brown. This step is crucial for adding flavor to the chicken.
  2. Make the Barbecue Sauce:
    • In a food processor, finely chop the onions and celery. These ingredients will add a depth of flavor and a slight crunch to the sauce.
    • In a large bowl, mix the chopped onions and celery with catsup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. The sauce should have a sweet and tangy flavor profile.
  3. Combine Chicken and Sauce:
    • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
    • In a large baking dish (like a 15×10 inch Pyrex dish), arrange the fried chicken pieces in a single layer. This ensures even cooking.
    • Pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken, making sure all the pieces are well-coated.
  4. Bake the Chicken:
    • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook for 1 ½ hours. The slow cooking process allows the chicken to become tender and absorb the flavors of the sauce.
    • Optionally, you can turn the chicken pieces once during baking for even cooking.
  5. Serving:
    • Once cooked, the chicken should be tender and coated with a thick, flavorful barbecue sauce.
    • Serve hot, perhaps with a side of mashed potatoes, coleslaw, or your favorite vegetables.

Tips and Variations

  • Sauce Consistency: If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can reduce the amount of water or simmer the sauce on the stovetop before adding it to the chicken.
  • Leftover Sauce: Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator and used later for another batch of chicken or as a topping for burgers.
  • Spice It Up: Feel free to add a bit of heat to the sauce with some hot sauce or chili flakes.

Donna’s Family Favorite Barbecued Chicken is more than just a meal; it’s a comforting, hearty dish that brings the family together. The combination of tender chicken and homemade barbecue sauce makes for a delightful and satisfying experience. Enjoy the warmth and love that comes with every bite of this family-favorite recipe

Making Donna’s Family Favorite Barbecued Chicken

Preparing a family recipe like Donna’s Barbecued Chicken can bring up questions, especially if you’re trying it for the first time. Here are some common queries with detailed answers to help you master this delicious dish.

How Can I Ensure the Chicken Cooks Evenly?

  • Even Sizing: Cut the chicken breasts into evenly sized halves to ensure uniform cooking.
  • Single Layer in the Pan: Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the baking dish. Overlapping pieces can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Turning the Chicken: Optionally, turn the chicken halfway through the baking time to ensure even exposure to the heat.

Can I Use Chicken with Bones for This Recipe?

  • Yes, You Can: Using bone-in chicken pieces is absolutely fine. In fact, bones can add more flavor. However, keep in mind that bone-in chicken might require a slightly longer cooking time.
  • Adjust Cooking Time: If using bone-in chicken, check for doneness by ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

What If I Don’t Have a Food Processor for the Onions and Celery?

  • Manual Chopping: If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the onions and celery by hand. The key is to make the pieces small enough so they blend well into the sauce.
  • Grater Option: Alternatively, you can use a grater for the onions to achieve a finer texture.

How Can I Store and Reheat Leftovers?

  • Storing Leftovers: Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep well for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat the chicken in the oven or microwave until it is thoroughly warmed through. If using a microwave, cover the chicken to retain moisture.

Can I Make the Sauce Ahead of Time?

  • Advance Preparation: Yes, you can make the barbecue sauce ahead of time. Preparing it a day in advance can actually enhance the flavors as the ingredients meld together.
  • Storage: Keep the prepared sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.

What Are Some Good Side Dishes to Serve with This Chicken?

  • Complementary Sides: Classic sides like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, green beans, or a fresh salad pair well with this dish. For a heartier meal, consider serving it with macaroni and cheese or cornbread.

Can I Add Other Ingredients to the Barbecue Sauce?

  • Customizing the Sauce: Absolutely! Feel free to add ingredients like garlic, smoked paprika, or apple cider vinegar to the sauce for additional flavor layers. If you like a bit of heat, a dash of hot sauce or chili powder can spice things up.

After exploring the delightful recipe of Donna’s Family Favorite Barbecued Chicken, you might be interested in discovering more culinary treasures. Flavorful Creations offers a variety of recipes that are sure to inspire your next kitchen adventure. Here are a few highlights from their collection:

1. Donna’s Award-Winning “Midget Magic” Chili

This unique chili recipe isn’t just a delicious and hearty meal; it carries the spirit and pride of Putnam County. Perfect for those chilly evenings or as a star dish at your next gathering, this chili is sure to impress with its rich flavors and comforting warmth.

2. Homemade McDonald’s Caramel Frappe: A Delicious Copycat Recipe

Craving the rich and creamy taste of McDonald’s Caramel Frappe but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home? This easy-to-follow recipe brings the iconic flavor right into your kitchen, perfect for a sweet treat or a delightful dessert beverage.

3. Strawberry Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Indulge in the ultimate sweet treat with Strawberry Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls. This delightful fusion combines the tangy creaminess of cheesecake with the warm, spiced goodness of cinnamon rolls, creating a dessert that’s both innovative and irresistibly delicious.

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