Roast Chicken with Spicy Honey BBQ Sauce

By Shannon Sarna

(The Nosher via JTA) — Summer is almost here; I can feel it. Every time we get a warmer day, the women of New York City are giddy with sandal wearing and summertime accessories. The flowers are blooming, the farmer’s markets have returned and the season of grilling is almost upon us.

Growing up, barbecue sauce-slathered chicken was a staple, probably only because covering chicken in a sticky, sweet sauce was a surefire way to get the kids to eat it. But at some point I fell out of love with “BBQ chicken.”

That is until I started making my own sauce. I have had some great bottled barbecue sauce, and I know some people swear by their go-to brand. But for me, making it from scratch makes all the difference between good chicken and chicken that people can’t stop talking about.

This spicy honey sauce is really quick to whip up and is inspired by this recipe from Taste of Home, one of my go-to places for tried-and-true home-cooked dishes. I kept in the coffee, which really adds just a subtle flavor and balances out the sweetness of the honey and ketchup.

This chicken is perfect for Shabbat and also for a summer barbecue. I promise, your guests will not stop talking about it.


Yield: 1 whole chicken

Note: if you don’t have an upright chicken roaster, I recommend investing in one like this. They are really cheap (less than $10) and make such a difference making a super moist chicken with crispy skin.


For the chicken:

1 whole chicken

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

Salt and pepper

For the BBQ sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso

Generous pinch red pepper flakes or 1-2 small dried chilies

Salt and pepper to taste


For the sauce: In a medium bowl mix together orange juice, olive oil, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge or up to 3 hours.

In a medium saucepan, saute onions until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in ketchup, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, coffee and red pepper flakes (or the chilies). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast chicken upright using an upright roaster for 50-60 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted. About halfway through roasting, brush some of the BBQ sauce all over the chicken and place back into the oven until cooking time is complete.

Allow the chicken to rest long enough to cut into quarters. Drizzle additional BBQ sauce on top and serve.

Shannon Sarna is editor of The Nosher.

The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at

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