This recipe, for Grilled Espresso Chicken came to me a few years back when anything Espresso made my heart sing. On the back burner for quite some time, I pulled it back out of hiding for a dinner party just a few weeks ago and the arrival of my long awaited Espresso Machine. This chickens main ingredient 'espresso' is full of surprises when accompanied with rich flavors like brown sugar, and smokiness from the grill. Although you don't need an Espresso Machine to make it, you can also use double strength coffee.
This Espresso Chicken is paired with a mashed Moroccan Spiced Sweet potato and Braised Mustard Greens. Full of unexpected flavor sensations like sweet and smoky, slightly spicy and bitter greens. Enjoy!
2.5 pounds chicken pieces, skinned & trimmed
2 cups espresso, or double strength coffee
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard powder
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, whole
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a slow cooker, layer onions, garlic, and chicken. Sprinkle salt, ground mustard, and brown sugar over chicken. Slowly pour coffee over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Meat should be dark on the outside, white in the middle and slightly falling off the bone. Turn off slow cooker and preheat charcoal grill. Meanwhile, prepare Moroccan Sweet Potatoes and Braised Mustard Greens. Note that the sweet potatoes take about an hour in the oven as part of the preparation.
Once your grill is nice and hot, gently grill chicken pieces on both sides brushing them with left over marinade to keep chicken moist. Chicken will be very fragile and shouldn't take but a few minutes to get nice grill marks and a little smoky flavor into the chicken.
Plate chicken with braised greens and mashed sweet potatoes. Recipes follow.
Moroccan Sweet Potatoes
4 large yellow sweet potatoes
1 large lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potatoes and cut ends off. Place on a cookie sheet, and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Remove skins and place in a large bowl. Mash sweet potatoes until smooth and slightly chunky, set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, cinnamon, paprika, cilantro and olive oil. fold dressing into mash sweet potatoes.
Braised Mustard Greens
1 large bunch fresh mustard greens, rinsed and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chicken stock
4 slice lean bacon
In a large skillet, brown bacon and set aside. Reserve the fat, there should be very little if you are using lean or center cut bacon. Saute the garlic in reserved bacon fat. Add mustard greens and chicken stock. Braise greens over low heat until greens are wilted.