When it’s too cold to grill outside, you can mimic the flavor of barbecued chicken with your oven broiler. Between the smoky spice rub and the sweet-hot barbecue sauce, you’ll never miss the grill.
For the sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbs. mild unsulfured molasses
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. minced chipotle chiles (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
For the chicken
1 Tbs. sweet smoked paprika
1 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 lb.), skinned
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Make the sauce
In a 1- to 2-quart saucepan, whisk together the ketchup, maple syrup, molasses, vinegar, chipotles, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, onion powder, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 15 minutes to meld the flavors. Set aside.
Make the chicken
In a small bowl, combine the paprika, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle powder, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Arrange the chicken on a platter or baking sheet, sprinkle both sides with the spice rub, and pat gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
Position a rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line the top rack of a broiler pan with foil and slit or puncture the foil at the openings to allow fat to drain.
Brush both sides of the chicken with oil and arrange skin side down on the pan. Broil for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken with tongs (rearranging them if the broiler heat isn’t even) and broil until they’re barely pink inside when cut into, 4 to 5 minutes. Brush the chicken with some of the sauce and broil until the sauce begins to caramelize, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and brush the chicken with more sauce; broil until they’re just cooked through (165°F), and the sauce is nicely caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a clean platter and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
The sauce can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated.