Despite the fact that chicken is omnipresent in our diets and our restaurants, it doesn't rank especially high on the barbecue food chain. Sure, most bbq joints will have a chicken option on the menu, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a true 'cue fan who's actually going to seek it out. "They have it on the menu because they have to," says Lampe. (Except in northern Alabama, where smoked chicken gets bumped up a few notches on the respectability meter when it is drenched in the white barbecue sauce that is a regional specialty.) When a restaurant is committed to doing barbecued chicken right, they'll probably be focusing on the fattier dark meat of the wings and thighs, because the breasts tend to dry out faster. And this is one meat where the sauce will be poured on with a heavier hand because the chicken is a bit more bland to begin with.