Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Coffee Glazed Barbecued Chicken on the Grill or in your Oven from Cleo Coyle

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If you've read our culinary mystery Through the Grinder (now in its 15th printing, woo-hoo), then you already have our recipe for coffee-marinated steak with garlic mashed potatoes and hearty coffee gravy.

Well, here's a new coffee recipe for you to try this summer: our coffee-glazed barbecued chicken. You can make it in the oven or on the grill.

Summer is here at last. 
May you...

Barbecue with joy!
~ Cleo

Pictured below is how the coffee glaze looks
when baked in the oven. Like a complex premium coffee blend,
it brings many flavors together (sweet, bright, tangy, yet rich and earthy) 
and it truly complements the chicken...

* * * 

Cleo Coyle’s 
Coffee Glazed
Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Barbecued Chicken

In our little back garden in Queens, New York, Marc and I often cook on a charcoal kettle grill. This glaze is a real favorite. 

The earthiness of the brewed coffee blends beautifully with the smoky flavor from the charcoal and the sweetness of the glaze's molasses and brown sugar. The lemon brings brightness and the cornstarch is the magic trick to make the glaze thick. We also very much enjoy this recipe baked in the oven, and we hope you do, too! 

~ Cleo


To download this recipe
in a free PDF document that you
can print, save, or share,
click here.

Click here for the 
PDF of this recipe.

Servings: About 10 chicken pieces. I often use chicken thighs and drumsticks with this recipe because dark meat tends to remain juicier during grilling, but this recipe will work equally well with breasts, wings, or a combo of parts. You can use it on chicken parts with or without skin.

Cleo Coyle's
Coffee Glazed Chicken


½ cup brewed coffee or espresso
½ cup molasses (unsulphured, and not blackstrap)
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch (for thickening) 

GLAZE DIRECTIONS: To make the glaze, combine coffee, molasses, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a nonstick saucepan. Stir for a minute over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cornstarch, one tablespoon at a time until it disappears. While continuing to stir the glaze, increase the heat and bring the glaze to a simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. When gaze thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about the consistency of honey), it’s done. See my photos for reference and my troubleshooting tips below. 

TROUBLESHOOTING: If the glaze seems too thin, increase the heat and bring it to a full boil while continuing to whisk. This should do the trick. If it doesn’t, whisk in a little extra cornstarch (1 teaspoon at a time) and it should thicken up fast. If the glaze becomes too thick, simply whisk more coffee into the saucepan, a little at a time, and continue to heat and whisk the glaze until it loosens to the right consistency for brushing.


Prepare chicken and pan: Rinse your chicken parts, pat dry. Prepare a shallow baking or roasting pan by lining with aluminum foil. (Trust me, you want to do this for easy cleanup.) Now coat the foil with a non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in the pan, skin side up (if your pieces have skin).

Bake and baste: Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place your prepared pan of chicken pieces in the middle rack of your oven. After 15 minutes, remove the pan and generously brush the prepared coffee glaze on top of each chicken piece. After another 15 minutes (at the 30 minute mark), flip each piece (so that the skin side is down) and glaze the unglazed side of the chicken. Bake for another 15 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces one last time so that skin side is up again and generously brush on a final coat of glaze. Return the chicken to your oven for another 20 to 25 minutes. Total baking time is approximately 60 minutes.

NOTE ON COOKING TIME: If you are baking chicken breasts, which are bigger and thicker than thighs, you will need to add 10 to 15 minutes to the cooking time. For smaller pieces, such as wings, the cooking time should be shortened by 10 to 15 minutes.


Step 1 - Roll chicken pieces in vegetable oil and shake off excess. You want a nice, light coating. Sprinkle salt on all sides.  If you are using a charcoal, you must create a cool area where there are fewer coals.

Step 2 - Lay the chicken pieces skin side down on the hot side and grill for 5-10 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is (you do not want the chicken to burn). Once you have a good sear on one side, move the chicken pieces to the cool part of the grill (if you are using a gas grill, lower the heat to medium low). Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes.

Step 3 - Turn the chicken pieces over and baste them with the coffee glaze. Cover again and allow to cook for another 20-30 minutes. Repeat, turning the chicken pieces over, basting them with sauce, covering, and cooking for another 20-30 minutes.

Finishing Zap – Here’s a quick and easy cheat to make sure your chicken is cooked through: Remove cooked and glazed chicken from grill and place in a microwave on high for 1-3 minutes. Then return the chicken to THE HOT PART of the grill for another 3 minutes. This should take the meat to 165 degrees, and keep the seared skin nice and crispy.

Click here for the PDF
of this recipe, and...

Eat with Joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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