Restaurant Melba Wilson dishes up his famous BBQ chicken

Melba Wilson, author of the cookbook “Melba’s American Comfort,” has been serving up comfort food classes for nearly 20 years at her Harlem restaurant, Melba’s. It’s become a stop for people around the world, and Melba says her food is like coming home for dinner whenever you’re away from home!

She joined “The View” for a Juneteenth celebration to serve up some of her favorite dishes, and shared her famous BBQ chicken recipe.

Melba Wilson’s BBQ Chicken

4 Serves


1 3.5 pound chicken cut into 8 pieces

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

2 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 Teaspoon of Spanish paprika

1 Teaspoon Melba’s Chicken Dry Rub (can substitute with a poultry seasoning such as dried herbs sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, nutmeg)

1 Teaspoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon brown mustard

2 Tablespoon high smoking point oil (vegetable, avocado, or grapeseed oil)

4 oz Melba’s BBQ Sauce for Glazing

1 bottle of Melba’s BBQ Sauce for the Table


Rinse chicken with cold water. After rinsing with cold water, pat dry with paper towels – this will ensure crispy skin.

In a medium bowl, mix all the rub ingredients and then, in a large bowl, rub the chicken with the rub and allow it to marinate for four hours in a refrigerator.

Pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Preheat your grill or grill pan and then place the chicken on it. Grill the chicken, turning to ensure it is cooked on both sides and then brush with 4 ounces of BBQ sauce.

The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees. Serve with great sides, like collard greens or mac and cheese, and of course, with your favorite BBQ sauce — for those wanting even more flavor!

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