No-Grill Sweet & Tangy Barbeque Chicken

Mariel here. For the past week-and-a-half, I’ve been recovering from a minor surgery – a procedure that necessitated filling a few heavy-duty prescriptions that all but obliterated my appetite. When you run a cooking blog, that isn’t such a great thing. Practically force-feeding myself, I’ve been subsisting on a steady diet of white rice and pineapple-banana smoothies thanks to Produce Pete, who showed me – in my post-op haze – how ridiculously easy it is to de-husk this spiky tropical fruit. But I digress.

Thankfully, after turning a corner on Saturday, my stomach suddenly remembered its God-given purpose and started demanding real food. Real food packed with actual calories and lots of flavor. While I was wary of diving headlong back into the kitchen – for fear of upsetting what’s already a delicate balance – on Monday I caved and bought a whole chicken. I needed protein, badly. This past weekend was a real beaut and all that bright sunshine – or at least what I stole glances of through my apartment window – inspired me to whip up something summery.

Problem is, when you’re a fresh-air-starved city kid, grills aren’t exactly part of the decor – unless you’re interested in crowding around a bum fire in Central Park. So, I had to improvise and create a BBQ chicken recipe, sans an actual BBQ. Lo and behold, about a year ago, my mom shared my Uncle Steve’s Sticky Orange Chicken, which inspired the technique I used in this rendition…as did a wonderful coffee-infused barbeque sauce I found on the pages of Fresh Home‘s spring issue. Two added bonuses? 1) If your pantry is well-stocked, this will cost you little more than the price of the chicken 2) Since I’m only cooking for two (or one-and-a-half until I get off the meds and my appetite comes raring back), I had plenty of leftovers, which I plan on using in a Smokey Barbeque Chicken Pasta Salad that I’ll share later.

And if you don’t hear from me before then, Happy Mother’s Day! As a mom-daughter duo, this is our big weekend…

Looking for other grill-free barbeque-style creations? Check out our Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Homemade BBQ Sauce, Pineapple-Barbecue-Glazed Chicken with Mango Salsa, Chipotle-Spiced Pulled Pork, Beer-Braised Brisket Sliders, Grown-Up Sloppy Joes, and Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos.

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No-Grill Sweet & Tangy Barbeque Chicken
Serves 4
Psst: if you do have a grill, go ahead, use it!

1 whole chicken, cut up – $7.36

For the Marinade:
¼-cup olive oil – stock
2 cloves of garlic, smashed – stock
A generous amount of ground black pepper – salt
A pinch of salt – stock

For the Barbeque Sauce:
½ of a large sweet onion, finely chopped – $0.89
1 Tablespoon of olive oil – stock
4 cloves of garlic, smashed – stock
½-cup of ketchup – stock
½-cup of cider vinegar – stock
¼-cup of honey – stock
¼-cup of strong, freshly-brewed coffee – stock
¼-cup of Worcestershire sauce – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $8.25
Cost per serving: $2.06

1. Prep the marinade by whisking together the olive oil, 2 smashed garlic cloves, black pepper, and salt.

2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Create a pocket between the skin and the meat of the chicken by gently lifting the skin, using your fingers. Dividing evenly, spoon some of the marinade mixture into each pocket. Transfer to a platter, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the barbecue sauce. In a large heavy skillet, saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat. Once tender and turning translucent, add the 4 garlic cloves and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to very low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Stir occasionally.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Note: If you’re lucky enough to own a gas grill, preheat on high flame to 500 degrees; reduce the flame as the manufacturer directs and grill the chicken over medium-indirect heat.

5. Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan. Baste with some of the warm BBQ sauce. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and baste with more of the sauce. Repeat turning and basting in 20 minute intervals 2 more times for a total cooking time of 1 hour. Test for doneness by pricking a chicken thigh. The juices will run clear when the chicken is done.

6. Remove the chicken from the oven and preheat the broiler (this is where the fake BBQ-ing comes in). Once ignited, broil the chicken skin-side up for one minute – time this otherwise your meat will go from crispy to charred in no time flat.

7. Transfer to a warm platter. Reheat the remaining sauce and serve alongside the chicken.


  1. says

    I would never have thought of adding coffee to the sauce, but I’m thinking that’s a really fabulous thing. And even those of us who have big old front and back yards complete with huge barbecue grills, sometimes like to keep things inside the kitchen. This would be a perfect technique to use when you plan a grilling party and the weekend turns into monsoon season :-)

  2. says

    Hope you’re feeling all better! This chicken looks amazing, you would never know it was baked. Happy Mother’s Day to you both!

  3. says

    This looks amazing! It sounds like it would do really well as cold leftovers for a picnic in the park, or even the more boring, regular ol’ lunch at work. We get a great deal on chicken thighs every couple weeks from a local butcher, I’ll go visit him this week!

    I may use this sauce just to rub in my hair 😉 mmmm

  4. says

    Sorry to hear you had to have an op and more so that it messed with your appetite! Pleased you are on the mend and back with giving us wonderful recipes. I would never have thought of adding coffee – do you taste it or does it just add depth?
    :-) Mandy

    • feastonthecheap says

      Thanks Mandy! And you’re dead on with regards to the coffee: you don’t taste it specifically per se, but it intensifies the overall flavor of the sauce

  5. says

    I’m glad to hear that you’re beginning to feel better. Surgery is never a fun proposition. I’m betting a few bites of this delicious chicken set you straight though. It sounds like a gorgeous combination of flavors. I love your addition of coffee!

  6. says

    Sorry you were not doing well, thank goodness for better living through modern chemistry to get you through it. What a great method for marinating (the pocket thingy), I’m going to try that next time. The chicken looks wonderful, even without a grill.

  7. Jeanne Brennan says

    Oh my Gosh! Such good Q! We have lived in SC and TN and travelled and tasted Q all over the South and I have to say that this chicken is so good! Thank you. That coffee I believe gave it that certain something extra and made it different. Very Good!

    • feastonthecheap says

      So happy to hear you enjoyed it Jeanne! We’re thrilled we got the official southern BBQ seal of approval!!


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