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DIY BBQ Chicken Platter

DIY BBQ Chicken Platter
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The following recipe and photography were provided by local blogger Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

Pulling together an authentic restaurant-style BBQ spread has never been so simple thanks to a few store-bought shortcuts from Heinen’s Prepared Foods and Bakery Departments!

Here, I’m including a simple method for grilling chicken thighs, which are seasoned with a quick spice blend and smothered in our favorite Two Brothers barbeque sauce. I recommend grilling Gerber’s CARE Certified bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because they cook up juicy and tender in a relatively short amount of time.

This summertime meal inspiration features Heinen’s prepared macaroni and cheese and crispy coleslaw, but any of their pasta salads would be a great addition, too. Swing through Heinen’s Bakery Department for their delicious fresh cornbread to complete the meal.

Serve the BBQ chicken and sides in small paper trays arranged on quarter sheet pans (with plenty of napkins) for all the BBQ restaurant vibes!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It Requires Minimal Cooking. While this meal is full of many foodie elements, the only thing you actually have to cook is the chicken!
  • Heinen’s Sides Taste as Good as Homemade. What’s a BBQ meal without a slew of delicious sides? Making this meal from scratch could take hours, but with Heinen’s prepared slaws, salads and mac and cheese, the complete plate comes together in a matter of minutes and tastes like you made it yourself!
  • You Don’t Have to Bake the Cornbread. A true BBQ meal always has a side of cornbread and Heinen’s cornbread, located in the Bakery, is as classic as it comes. Made from a propriety recipe, it’s the perfect balance of sweet and dense.

DIY BBQ Chicken Platter

DIY BBQ Chicken Platter


  • 3 lbs. Gerber’s CARE Certified bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
  • 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Heinen’s garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Heinen’s smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • Heinen’s Two Brothers barbeque sauce
  • Heinen’s Daily Bites mac and cheese, heated
  • Heinen’s crispy coleslaw
  • Heinen’s cornbread
  • Optional supplies: small paper food trays and quarter sheet pans


  1. Combine the salt, spices and black pepper in a small bowl, then sprinkle it over the chicken thighs, tossing well to coat all sides. Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat one side of a grill to medium-high direct heat (about 400°F) and the other side of the grill to medium indirect heat (about 350°F). Oil the grates, then add the chicken thighs, skin-side-down, to the hot side of the grill. Grill covered for 4-5 minutes, then flip and grill for another 4-5 minutes, making sure not to char.
  3. Flip the chicken again and move to the side of the grill with medium indirect heat. Brush liberally with barbeque sauce and continue to cook, covered, flipping occasionally, until the internal cooking temperature reaches 165°F, about 20 minutes more. Remove the chicken from grill and use a clean brush to brush fresh barbeque sauce on both sides of the thighs. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve the chicken and sides in small paper food trays on quarter sheet pans with extra barbeque sauce and plenty of napkins!

Carolyn Hodges

By Carolyn Hodges

Carolyn is a mom of boys and culinary dietitian in Cleveland, Ohio. The Dinner Shift is dedicated to helping busy moms get dinner on the table after the weekday grind, however that is defined for you and yours.

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