A No-Fuss Cast Iron Chicken Recipe for Barbecue Lovers | Wine Enthusiast
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A No-Fuss Cast Iron Chicken Recipe for Barbecue Lovers

Adapted from Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook, by Kelsey Barnard Clark (Chronicle Books, 2021)

In her new book, Southern Grit, Alabama-born Kelsey Barnard Clark offers up family recipes with the bold flavors and unfussy preparations that led her to win season 16 of Top Chef. She says this simple dish is so popular with her family that she makes it at least once a week. Experiment with your own combination of chipotle, barbecue and hot sauces.


2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
½ tablespoon Tajín Clásico seasoning*
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ cups chicken stock
¼ cup chipotle pepper sauce
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce


In small bowl, combine salt and Tajín. Rub all over chicken legs.

Heat large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and sear chicken, skin side down, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Deglaze skillet with vinegar and cook until it’s almost completely evaporated.

Add chicken stock and chipotle, barbecue and hot sauces, and bring to simmer over medium heat.

Cover and continue to simmer, frequently turning chicken to coat in sauce, for 45 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked with the sauce coating evenly.

Add salt to taste, if necessary.

Chicken will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Serves 2–4.

How to Make Tajín Clásico

Tajín Clásico is a mix of ground chiles, lime and sea salt. You can substitute ¾ teaspoon each chili powder and lime zest, or use another brand, such as Rancho Gordo Stardust.

Wine Pairing

Wakefield 2019 Promised Land Shiraz (South Australia)

With its flavors of smoke, pepper and ripe fruit, Shiraz pairs beautifully with barbecue. This bottling is a fantastic value, showing fresh berry and plum notes along with savory layers of black pepper, winter spices and dried chili. Its gentle tannins harmonize, rather than clash, with the mouth-tingling spiciness of the dish.

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