I have cooke a lot of chicken on the bbq. What Andy said is correct. We also don't know hwat kind of barbecue you are using. If using charcoal, cook the chicken over a solid bed of coals. Imediately cover the grill and adjust the vents to about half open. Cook for 5 minutes and turn the chicken over. Cook another 5 minutes and check with an instant read meat thermometer in the thickest meat. Remove the chicken when the thickest piece reads 165.
This gives you the initially intense heat needed to create that great outer skin. As the fire is starved of oxygen, it cools, allowing the chicken to cook through.
If using a gas grill, just follow the same routine, except that you will have to have the grill hot to start, and then turn the gas down to get the lower temperature.
In both cases, avoid puting any kind of sugar on the skin as it will quickly scorch. And if you are using a marinade with the chicken, remember, if it contains any acidic ingredients, i.e. tomato, vinegar, citrus fruit or juice, or wine, then 30 minutes will provide maximum flavor. This is because when the acids touch the meat protiens, they tighten into a barrier and keep the marinade from penetrating more than about 1/16th of an inch, no matter how long the meat is exposed to the marinading liquid. It still tastes great though. If you want herbal or spice flavors to completely penetrate the meat, use a flavored brine solution instead. It will be absorbed throughout the meat tissue.
Add any sugary glazes, or sauces, such as comercial bbq sauces, fruit glazes, etc. for the last couple minutes of cooking time to keep the sugars from burning. If you want the basting liquid to cook into the meat, remove the chicken from the grill, place in a large, covered roasting pan, after brushing with your sauce or glaze, and bake at no more than 200 degrees, preferably closer to 170 or so, to keep from overcooking the meat and drying it out.
Hope that helps.
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