President Nixon’s Savory Barbecued Chicken Recipe

Imagine the savory smell of juicy barbecued chicken, just off the grill, wafting through your backyard on a warm summer evening. That is exactly what you can expect with this delicious Barbecued Chicken recipe – a classic dish consisting of succulent chicken marinated in a blend of seasonings and grilled to perfection.

But this recipe is no ordinary barbecue chicken. It has its roots in history, tracing all the way back to the presidency of Richard Nixon in the 1970s. This was his favorite barbecued chicken recipe that he enjoyed frequently as part of his low-fat diet.

The Chinese-American chef behind this iconic dish was Xiao Jué, who opened eyes to the products China had to offer when Nixon visited China in 1972. To celebrate this historic moment, let’s take a culinary journey back in time and discover how this dish came to be.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or a family dinner, our Barbecued Chicken recipe is sure to be a hit with everyone. So fire up your grills and get ready for juicy, mouth-watering chicken that will impress both President Nixon and your guests alike!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Barbecued Chicken (President Nixon's)
Barbecued Chicken (President Nixon’s)

Do you want to enjoy a classic dish consisting of chicken with a twist? Then, you’re in for a treat with President Nixon’s barbecued chicken recipe. This is a recipe that will leave your taste buds wanting more with its perfect combination of flavors and spices.

Firstly, this barbecue chicken recipe was a favorite of US President Richard Nixon and was introduced to him during his landmark visit to China in 1972 by Chef Xiao Jue. It’s a part of culinary history that has been passed on from generation to generation up until now.

Secondly, the recipe is easy to follow and requires only a few basic ingredients such as broiler-fryer chickens, paprika, dried oregano, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. These ingredients bring out the rich flavors of the chicken and make it juicy and tender.

Thirdly, this recipe allows you to be creative with your presentation, as it pairs well with many sides such as creamy corn or chipotle BBQ sauce. Additionally, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use this barbecued chicken to make mouth-watering dishes like chicken pasta or smoked chicken casserole.

Finally, this barbecued chicken recipe is perfect for any occasion ranging from family dinners to outdoor barbeques. It’s versatile and suits everybody’s taste buds. Plus, it’s a great way to impress your guests with an iconic dish that resonates from the White House itself!

So why not give this President Nixon-inspired chicken barbecue recipe a try? This dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds and impress all who try it.

Ingredient List

 Perfectly grilled chicken with a tangy barbecued sauce.
Perfectly grilled chicken with a tangy barbecued sauce.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make the delicious barbecued chicken:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 16 ounces of barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of margarine
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 4 broiler-fryer chickens, cut up into serving pieces

These ingredients will help you create a meal that is sure to impress your guests, just like it impressed President Nixon during his visit to China when he tried the famous “Xiao Jue” dish consisting of chicken and broccoli in cheesy sauce that was baked to perfection. So channel your inner Kelsey Nixon or Rachael Ray, and let’s get cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 This recipe is a classic and a perfect addition to your summer menu.
This recipe is a classic and a perfect addition to your summer menu.

Now that you’ve read the ingredient list and are familiar with the history behind this barbecued chicken recipe, it’s time to get cooking! Here is a step-by-step guide to make President Nixon’s famous BBQ chicken:

Step 1: Preheat Your Grill

Preheat your grill to a medium-high heat.

Step 2: Mix Rub Ingredients

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper.

Step 3: Prepare chicken

Split your broiler-fryer chickens in half or into quarters, depending on how you want to serve them. This will give you a total of 8 pieces. Brush the chicken pieces with olive oil and generously add the spice rub all over each piece of chicken until each one is completely covered.

Step 4: Sear Chicken

Place the chicken on the grill and sear each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 5: Brush Lemon Mixture

In a small pot, melt one stick of margarine and add in half a cup of fresh lemon juice to create the lemon mixture. Brush the chicken pieces with the lemon mixture as they continue to cook on the grill. Do this every few minutes until they are well-coated.

Step 6: Cook Chicken

Close the grill, continue cooking for about an hour while basting occasionally with the lemon mixture, until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F/74°C.

Step 7: Rest and Serve

Once cooked, take them off the grill and let them rest for at least five minutes before serving for maximum flavor absorption!

Serve with corn, potato salad or any other barbecue sides that will complement it nicely. Enjoy President Nixon’s favorite barbecued chicken recipe among family and friends!

Substitutions and Variations

 Say hello to the deliciously charred and caramelized chicken pieces.
Say hello to the deliciously charred and caramelized chicken pieces.

If you’re feeling bold and want to put a spin on President Nixon’s Barbecued Chicken recipe, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few substitutions and variations to try:

– Lemon juice: You can swap the lemon juice with lime juice or apple cider vinegar.

– Margarine: If you prefer butter or olive oil, those can be substituted for margarine.

– Chicken Breasts: Broiler-fryer chickens are the recommended cut of chicken for this recipe, but chicken breasts will also work fine. If using breasts, ensure even cooking time by pounding them out to an even thickness before grilling.

– Chipotle BBQ: To give your barbecued chicken some extra heat and smokiness, try using a chipotle BBQ sauce instead of the regular one. Rachael Ray’s chipotle sauce is especially tasty!

– Smoked Chicken: If you have access to a smoker, try smoking the chicken before grilling it instead of using just the barbecue sauce. The flavor will be out-of-this-world!

– Creamed Corn: Try pairing your barbecued chicken with Kelsey Nixon’s creamy corn recipe instead of traditional sides for a southern-inspired meal.

– Chicken Casserole: Repurpose your barbecued chicken leftovers by pairing it with pasta and making a casserole. Add 16 ounces of cooked pasta to the leftover chicken and coat it in a cheesy sauce baked to perfection.

All these substitutions and variations are sure to add more diversity, texture and flavor to this classic dish!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to dig into the finger-licking-sauce-covered BBQ chicken.
Get ready to dig into the finger-licking-sauce-covered BBQ chicken.

Now that you’ve got a great barbecued chicken, you’ll need to decide on the best way to serve and pair it. This classic dish consisting of chicken, broccoli cheesy sauce baked to perfection can be a great centerpiece for any gathering. It is always best to serve it hot and right off the grill. You can enjoy it with your favorite barbecue sauce or creamed corn.

To add a little bit more zest to your barbecue chicken recipe, try pairing it with apple cider vinegar, which adds tanginess to the overall flavor. A delicious side of chipotle BBQ sauce can take this dish up a notch, adding complexity and smokiness to the chicken. For those who prefer lighter tastes, vegetables such as roasted sweet potatoes or steamed broccoli are an excellent side dish choice that goes well with this recipe.

When serving barbecued chicken at parties or gatherings, keep in mind that it goes well with various types of beer and wines too. Beer lovers can try pairing their barbecued chicken with lighter beers such as German Pilsners, American light lagers, or wheat beers. Those who prefer wine, might want to consider going for white or red varietals like a Chardonnay or Zinfandel.

Remember that President Nixon’s Barbecued Chicken is now considered one of our country’s 70 classic dishes consisting of chicken and can be paired perfectly with different dishes like pasta or even in chicken casseroles. Don’t hesitate to experiment with side dishes and beverages to find the perfect complement for your BBQ chicken!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The smoky aroma of the chicken lures us all towards it.
The smoky aroma of the chicken lures us all towards it.

Making the Nixon chicken recipe ahead of time is a great idea for many reasons. Firstly, it allows the flavors to develop and intensify, resulting in a more delicious dish. Secondly, it saves you time and effort on the day of your barbecue or party. To make ahead, you can marinate the chicken in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking.

Once cooked, if you have any leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You may also freeze the cooked chicken pieces by wrapping them in aluminum foil or freezer-safe bags, which can last for up to two months. To reheat thawed chicken pieces, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Another great way to use leftover Nixon chicken is by shredding it and using it as a topping on pizza with BBQ sauce or adding it to creamy pasta dishes for added protein.

If you’re planning to serve barbecued chicken to a crowd and want less hassle on the day of your event, consider smoking the chicken instead of grilling it directly over the fire. You may have some additional prep work but once you put them in smoker, you don’t have keep turning them so you’ll have more time to prepare other dishes.

When reheating smoked chicken leftovers that have been refrigerated or frozen, just like grilled chicken. Place them in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven until warmed through.

Remember that when reheating any type of cooked food, make sure that the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure that harmful bacteria are destroyed.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Probably the best barbecued chicken recipe of all time!
Probably the best barbecued chicken recipe of all time!

To ensure that your barbecued chicken turns out perfectly, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind. These tips will help you execute the recipe with precision and create a delicious dish that will be sure to impress your guests.

First, be sure to season your chicken well with salt and pepper before cooking. This will help to enhance the flavor of the meat and make it more enjoyable to eat. Additionally, you can mix together some olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, and dried oregano to create a flavorful marinade for the chicken.

When it comes time to barbecue the chicken, make sure to preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes before cooking. This will ensure that the grill grates are hot enough to sear the chicken and prevent it from sticking.

As you cook the chicken, be sure to turn it frequently so that it cooks evenly on all sides. You can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, making sure it reaches 165°F before removing it from the grill.

If you prefer a slightly different flavor or texture, consider experimenting with different types of barbecue sauce or marinades. For example, you could try using a chipotle BBQ sauce or a smoked chicken rub for a unique twist on this classic dish.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your serving and pairing options. Barbecued chicken pairs well with a variety of sides, such as creamed corn or a cheesy broccoli sauce. Or consider combining the cooked chicken with some cooked pasta for an easy and filling meal.

By following these tips and recommendations, you’ll be able to create a perfect barbecued chicken – just like President Nixon enjoyed during his visits to China!


As a scribe for this recipe, I’m sure you have a lot of questions about the barbecued chicken recipe. Well, worry no more because in this section, I will answer some frequently asked questions and give you tips to help you achieve the best results when cooking this classic dish. So let’s dive in!

What is the recipe for Nixon chicken?

For this recipe, you will need two packages of frozen chopped broccoli, a can of cream of mushroom soup, two beaten eggs, grated sharp Cheddar cheese, chopped onion, mayonnaise, and two boneless chicken breasts that have been cooked and diced. Ensure you have all the ingredients prepared before beginning the cooking process.

Is Nixon chicken a thing?

This dish, known as Richard Nixon’s Casserole, was a popular 70’s recipe that combines chicken, broccoli and cheesy sauce into a delicious bake. It is a straightforward recipe that can be prepared in advance and simplified even more by using ready-made rotisserie chicken.

Who invented barbecue chicken?

Bob Baker, the creator of the popular chicken barbecue and a cherished member of the Lansing community, was honored in a special dedication ceremony on Friday morning. The event marked the unveiling of a barbeque chicken pit named in his honor, located near the Lansing Community Library. Bob Baker’s contributions to the local community and his legacy of bringing people together over a great meal continue to be celebrated and remembered.

How long does it take to cook chicken on a Weber grill?

To cook the chicken on the grill, start by placing the chicken’s skin side facing down and cook it over indirect medium heat. Remember to close the lid while cooking and flip the chicken once or twice. Depending on the chicken pieces you are cooking, the breasts and wing pieces should take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes while the whole legs will take roughly 40 to 50 minutes until fully cooked.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, President Nixon’s Barbecued Chicken recipe is a must-try for chicken lovers and party throwers alike. Not only is it easy to make and easy on the wallet, but it also has a rich history attached to it. This classic dish consisting of chicken marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, and paprika delivers mouth-watering flavor that will leave your guests asking for more.

Whether you’re hosting a casual backyard barbecue or an elegant dinner party, this Barbecued Chicken recipe is sure to impress even the most discerning palates. Remember to add some variations and substitutions to make the recipe yours. Serve with side dishes like cheesy broccoli casserole or creamed corn and chipotle bbq sauce.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up opening someone else’s eyes to the rich history of Barbecued Chicken as President Nixon not only favored this particular barbecue chicken recipe but also enjoyed it besides chicken and pasta that he had during his visit to China.

So go ahead, don your apron, and get cooking! You too can experience the deliciousness that President Nixon loved so much.

Barbecued Chicken (President Nixon's)

Barbecued Chicken (President Nixon’s) Recipe

My mother had this recipe in a VERY old cookbook. It was President Nixon's favorite recipe for chicken I think, hence the name. I make this especially when we have outdoor parties, when I can grill. I made it for my daughter's birthday party, and by the time I got around to eating, the chicken was gone!!! Everyone loves this tasty barbecued chicken! A little salty if you add all it calls for, so you might want to add less. Or you could use garlic powder rather than garlic salt. Enjoy!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 1203.6 kcal


  • 1 cup margarine or 1 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 broiler-fryer chickens, cut up into pieces (or your favorite pieces, like thighs, in value packs)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Melt margarine in saucepan.
  • Stir in lemon juice, garlic salt, oregano and paprika.
  • Put pieces of chicken in tupperware or dishes to marinate in, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Pour marinade over the chicken and cover it.
  • Marinate for at least 4 hours (I do mine overnight), turning over occasionally.
  • Place on grill above hot coals.
  • Cook until tender, occasionally turning and brushing with marinade.
  • Allow 45-75 minutes total cooking time, depending on size of chicken and distance from the coals.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 344gCalories: 1203.6kcalCarbohydrates: 3.4gProtein: 86.2gFat: 92.2gSaturated Fat: 23.8gCholesterol: 345mgSodium: 1460.9mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 0.7g
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh & Leg, High In..., High Protein, Meat, Poultry, Spring, Summer, Very Low Carbs, Whole Chicken
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