Savory Chocolate Barbecue Chicken is smooth and spicy chicken smothered in a rich sauce made with dark chocolate, cumin, cider vinegar, brown sugar and a splash of coffee. A complex sauce paired with chicken for an undeniably different and delicious taste!
If you have never had chocolate barbecue sauce, then you are in for a treat. The flavor is similar to traditional barbecue sauce, but there is that little something different. I can only describe it as a mellow smoothness. I know that sounds like I am describing jazz music, but that is how it feels on the tongue!
Just so you know, this isn’t mole sauce like you find in Mexican cooking. It’s chicken basted with a sauce made from traditional barbecue sauce ingredients, with dark chocolate added to give a smoothness and deep flavor to the sauce that it otherwise wouldn’t have. The cocoa powder and brewed coffee help that flavor along.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST SAVORY CHOCOLATE BARBECUE CHICKEN:
- Use high quality chicken, with little or no added broth for the best flavor.
- Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper before baking for the crispest skin and best flavor.
- Fresh minced garlic will result in the best flavor for this complex sauce.
- Melt the chocolate last,directly in the finished hot barbecue sauce mixture, for the best chocolate taste. Do not cook with the other ingredients.
- Brush chicken with sauce and allow to caramelize 5 minutes in the oven each time to soak the flavor into the skin.
Savory Chocolate Barbecue Chicken
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- 2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- salt and pepper for seasoning chicken
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves minced garlic, about 1 teaspoon
- 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee
- 1.58 ounce Forte Chocolates 71% Chocolate bar
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 16 ounces whole white mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grease a 9 x 13 baking baking pan, or similar size, with oil.
- Place chicken thighs, in a single layer and skin side up, in pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until golden brown and fragrant.
- Add tomato sauce, brown sugar, coffee, brown sugar, honey, vinegar, cocoa powder, worcestershire sauce, onion powder, dry mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne to the saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring just to boiling, then reduce heat to simmer, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and add chocolate. Stir while chocolate is melting. Set aside.
- When chicken has been cooking for 50 minutes, remove from the oven and pour off extra fat. Use a silicone brush to coat thighs with barbecue sauce. Return to 375 oven for 5 minutes to allow barbecue sauce to caramelize. Repeat a second time for a total cooking time of 60 minutes.
- Chicken is done when instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees when placed in thickest part of thigh.
- Serve warm.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
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