Virginia Barbecue Chicken

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by Marg CaymanDesigns

Summer Saturdays in Virginia are filled with the smell of this chicken. It is the chicken that all the churches, boy scouts and other organizations fix for fund raisers. It is one of our favorite ways to grill chicken legs or halves. It works really well to grill the chicken and then eat later cold too. Great for a picnic!

Top Review by Katwyn

This is a wonderful recipe! For generations of people up and down the Eastern Seaboard and right across all those eastern states abutting the Atlantic, this chicken has represented the quintessential taste of summer. This particular recipe is simplicity at its very best--truly old-fashioned, deliciously grilled chicken. It's the chicken of generations of backyard barbecues, county fairs, and church, club, & firehouse fund-raisers. There are plenty of variations on this recipe, with a variety of minor tweaks and changes typically used by Lion's clubs, Rotary clubs, Kiwanis clubs and etc., so it's also popularly known as Lion's club chicken, Kiwanis chicken, Fireman's chicken, and also as DelMarva chicken, given its popularity at fund-raising road stands all along the shore areas of the DelMarva Peninsula. Some of the club recipes have added a dash of cayenne for kick or switched the poultry seasoning for a spicier twist by using Old Bay Seasoning instead, and other clubs add an egg or use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. Being somewhat of a purist, I have a decided partiality for this perfectly balanced basic recipe, but to be completely honest, also wouldn't turn down any of the other chicken variations either, if offered any of those! Do try this recipe first, and take the time to marinate it well for best results. A quick online search for particular club fund raising recipes, Delmarva recipes, or firehouse/fireman recipes for BBQ'd or grilled chicken will provide plenty of variations on this basic recipe too, if you happen to be looking for a particular version that will closely match or reproduce a fondly remembered chicken experience of your childhood. As long as a recipe is based on this original recipe, you are bound to produce some very good barbecued chicken!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix all ingredients, except chicken. (I've found a hand blender helps keep it from separating as much.)
  2. Use a small amount to marinade about 5-10 chicken halves or 12-20 drumsticks for a couple hours or over night.
  3. Grill over very medium coals until pieces test done, basting often.
  4. It works best if you use a grilling pit and allow it to slow cook for a couple hours.

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