Black Jack Chicken Breasts
CIA Grilling Tips: BBQ Chicken without the Burn
Want to know The Culinary Institute of America’s secret on how to make perfect barbecue chicken breasts without burning them? CIA Chef Howie Velie has just the grilling tips to teach you how.
“Most people burn their BBQ chicken because they put the sauce on too early and keep it constantly on high heat,” says Velie. “The sauce is full of sugar and it is the sugar that starts to burn and char on the meat. Start by leaving one of the burners off so you can create a cooler side to move the meat onto and keep it from burning. It is best to first make the cross-hatch marks on both sides with high heat and to turn the meat quickly so it does not burn. Once it is marked, after about 3 minutes, apply the sauce on both sides and finish cooking on the cooler side of the grill.”
Controlling the temperature of the grill as foods cook is one of the challenges facing the outdoor chef. Using direct or indirect grilling techniques, or a combination of the two, gives you the flexibility to prepare almost any food on the grill. Try out this technique with the following recipe for Black Jack Chicken Breasts. The Black Jack Barbecue Sauce gets its name from the jolt of strong coffee that is added to it.
The following recipes, along with more than 175 others, are explained and illustrated in the CIA’s Grilling cookbook (Lebhar-Friedman 2006).
Black Jack Chicken Breasts
Makes 8 Servings
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 8 chicken breasts, bone in and skin on
- 2 cups Black Jack Barbecue Sauce
- To make the marinade: Combine the apple cider, cider vinegar, shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a zip-close bag. Add chicken pieces and seal the bag, pressing out the air. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 and up to 12 hours.
- Preheat a gas grill to medium-high; leave one burner off. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a moderate coating of white ash. Spread the coals in a even bed on one side of the grill. Clean the cooking grate.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting any excess drain off. Season with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Grill the chicken over direct heat until marked on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Finish cooking the chicken over indirect heat, covered, turning every few minutes and brushing with the barbecue sauce, until the chicken is cook through (165 degrees F) and the juices run clear, 10 to 15 minutes more.
- Serve on a heated platter or plates.
Black Jack Barbecue Sauce
Makes 4 cups
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons minced jalapeño, or to taste
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
- Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder and jalapeño, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. Use immediately, or let cool to room temperature before storing in a clean, covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Nutrition analysis per serving:* 300 calories, 31g protein, 23g carbohydrate, 12g fat, 3g saturated fat, 1170mg sodium, 82mg cholesterol, 1g fiber
*Analysis may vary depending on how long the chicken marinates.