Grilled Chicken Thighs with Coffee BBQ Sauce

This rich, sweet sauce has a mild coffee taste that pairs well with chicken without overpowering it.

Serves 2 to 3 (as a main course)


  • 4 Smart Chicken® thighs

  • ½ red onion, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black

  • pepper, as needed

  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (such as

  • Sriracha)

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 cups ketchup

  • ¼ cup molasses

  • 4 ounces cold brew coffee

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • Canola or olive oil, as needed


Rub a thin layer of oil on chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper on both sides; set aside. To a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and bring to temperature. Add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper; sweat for about 10 minutes. Add the hot sauce, vinegar, ketchup, molasses, coffee, and brown sugar and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the mixture is chunky but not too thick. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (Use caution when blending hot liquids. Be sure to remove the lid insert, and cover with a kitchen towel while blending so

steam can escape.) Set aside. Prepare a grill with indirect (medium-low) and direct (high) heat zones. Sear the thighs over direct heat, skin-side down, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear for another 3 minutes. Transfer to indirect heat and continue grilling, rotating and flipping occasionally. During the last few minutes of grilling, baste the chicken with the sauce on all sides. Grill until thighs register 165˚F in the thickest portion (without touching bone if using a bone-in thigh). Remove from grill, let rest, and top with more barbecue sauce before serving.