Slow-and-Low, Dry-Rubbed, Oven Chicken & A Greek Salad

THURSDAY Slow and Low Dry Rubbed Chicken  |  Greek Salad Intro Collage

Before getting into our dinner, I just want to thank all of you for your kind words, either here on the site or via email, regarding our loss of Duke yesterday.  Those notes and the several e-cards I received were a bright spot at such a dark time.  So many of you I have never met and your kindness touched my heart.

I must admit, I am a fan of wet “mop” sauces when it comes to BBQ chicken and ribs.  Even after living in Texas for 6 years I just couldn’t be persuaded to favor dry-rubbed meat over lusciously sticky, gooey, sweet & spicy sauces that had been slathered  on throughout the cooking process.  But in true Smitten Kitchen fashion, Deb managed to convince me to give this dry-rubbed, oven roasted chicken a try.

While the dry-rub itself seemed fairly standard {a combination of sugar and savory spices} the method…cooking the seasoned chicken in foil packets slow & low…was what really intrigued me.  I had visions of steamed chicken with soggy skin.  but the resulting chicken was a far cry from soggy or standard.  Moist, incredibly tender chicken {it spent 4 hours in a brine} that was boldly spiced {paprika, chile powder, ground red pepper} from the dry-rub, slow-roasted and then finished under the broiler for a few minutes to achieve a wonderful browning.  The best part… a fantastic syrup-like sauce made from the reduced juices produced from the chicken while roasting, combined with a bit of honey and apple-cider vinegar, was served as a topping…barbecue heaven!

I made just a couple of slight adaptations from Deb’s recipe.  First, in my ongoing attempt to remove processed foods from our diet, I substituted Succanat for the brown sugar  and, instead of broiling the chicken in their pool of juices towards the end of the recipe, I removed them to a clean piece of foil and broiled while the roasting juices were being reduced in a saucepan on the stove.  I thought by doing this I would achieve better browning.  The chicken came out from underneath the broiler wonderfully deepened in color with the hint of crisping on a few of the edges…perfect!

The “rub”…

Dry Rub Collage


Slow-and-Low, Dry-Rubbed, Oven Chicken {adapted from Smitten Kitchen}


  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Succanat
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar

Dry Rub

  • 6 tablespoons Succanat
  • 4 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • Up to 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper


  • 5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on whole chicken legs


  • ¼ honey
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Brine the chicken:

  1. In a large plastic container, mix water, salt, Succanat and vinegar. Add chicken parts and cover with a lid or plastic wrap in the fridge, for at least 1 hour and up to 6.

Make the rub:

  1. Mix ingredients.

Prepare chicken:

  1. Heat oven to 300°F. Remove chicken parts from brine and pat dry. Place pieces of chicken on two very large pieces of foil, large enough to fold over chicken and form packets. Pat chicken pieces GENEROUSLY {I used all of the rub} on all sides with rub. Turn the chicken pieces so their meatier sides are down, and tightly fold the foil around them to make two large packets.
  2. Place two cooling racks {which will act as baking racks} on two baking sheets {one on each}. Place a chicken packet on each and place one sheet on an upper oven rack and one on a lower. Bake chicken for 1 hour, then rotate baking sheets. Bake for another 30 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the thickest part of each chicken reads 155 degrees.

Finish the chicken:

  1. Heat broiler.
  2. Carefully open each packet of chicken and remove chicken pieces to a fresh baking sheet lined with foil, meaty sides facing up. Pour accumulated juices into a saucepan. Place the sheet under the broiler and continue to cook the chicken until lightly crisped at edges and cooked through.

Make a sauce from the juices:

  1. While the chicken is under the broiler, boil the accumulated juices collected from the roasted chicken in a saucepan over high heat for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, until it makes a syrupy sauce that coats a spoon. Add honey for flavor while it reduces. Once syrupy, add the apple cider vinegar, stir and remove from heat. Serve with the chicken.


This evening’s salad also comes from Smitten Kitchen.  In her post for the above chicken, Deb mentions pairing it with “this staple salad“…a classic Greek salad. A vibrant combination of crisp cucumber, intensely sweet cherry tomatoes, salty olives, tart red onion and tons of oregano {both fresh and dried} tossed with lemon juice and a glug of olive oil and served with a decadent slab of feta cheese.  I found the oregano and the feta cheese, along with the cool cucumber, to be the perfect side for the boldly-spiced chicken.  I barely adapted the original recipe by adding 1 tablespoon of dried oregano to the mix, so click here to view Deb’s original recipe.  This is how the salad came together for us tonight and the fresh oregano was snipped from our garden about a minute before the following picture was taken…


The salad tossed with the lemon juice & olive oil and ready for plating with the olives and feta cheese…


Tonight’s dinner plate…



K Initial

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