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Dark Chocolate Chipotle-Chili Barbecued Chicken (*or Wings and Drumettes)

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dark choc bbq sauce


Ever since my wonderful neighbors gave me a beautiful gift basket full of goodies for Christmas, I have been HOARDING, not just one, but TWO different bars of incredible chocolate!

I wanted to come up with recipes to use these exquisitely creamy delicious gifts made by the chocolate gods in something special. I never suspected that making a homemade barbecue sauce would create such a stir, though!

My initial, entire master plan, involved creating a dish that I’ll be sharing at a later date, but this cure-all, paint a smile on your face with permanent marker, elixir had to be shared ASAP! 

When my hubby ate this chicken, he looked like he was smiling with a banana in his mouth sideways! 

And we shared a few wings with the neighbors who were hollering for more over the fence! (Not kidding!) 

So I knew I had to post the recipe and let the cat out of the bag SOON! Or there was going to be trouble! 


(*The jar I gave the neighbors so now they can grill their own….until they run out…. ) 😉  


drk choc bbq sauce jar


Honestly, not teasing, making it up, or the worst, bragging….it really did come out all that and more good.  I kept tasting it and kept saying to myself….oh this can’t be that good….can it?? And after multiple tastes and uncontrollable yummy sounds, I finally had to admit to myself. Yes, it’s that good.

That dark, chili-flavored chocolate ROCKED it! Lindt, I don’t know whether to love you or shoot you. This was just too good. Like slap a gold label on the jar good. 


lindt dark choc


THIS was going to make for some incredibly delicious chicken.  OMG. 

So I cooked two different kinds of chicken two different ways to experiment. The first to get going was the whole chicken that I quartered myself, placed into a roaster with apple juice, seasoned well, and pre-roasted, so that it would be moist and tender and the sauce would be added later and finished off on the grill. This was surely going to add a bit of extra sweetness, so I wanted to see how it did with and without.

(*Note, the photo below is an old one, but still shows you approximately how much of the seasonings “to taste” that I use as a basic visual guide.) 


seasoned chicken


I was SO glad that I did it both ways because the results of the flavors were quite a bit different actually. The quartered chicken pieces definitely had a sweet-apple background, while part two of the experiment had a much different flavor. 

Part two of the testing, were the wings and drumettes. (Drummies? Whatever they are called at this time!) I just grilled them from start to finish since they only take a mere 20 minutes plus fun “fiddle with it” time.

The extra sweetness was gone as well as the undertone of apple flavor. But they had a much more, how do I put this….”authentic”, smokey, grilled, barbecue flavor than the “part one” chicken did.

Obviously I was expecting a little bit of a difference, but there was a BIG difference.   


dark chocolate bbq chicken


Though I’ve always thought I’ve had the bigger sweet tooth between my hubby and myself, HE actually preferred the sweeter version, and I the more smokey version!

THAT was a first!

If it were up to me to say, I would not use the apple juice and would use light beer or even water when precooking the large pieces. But I am leaving the recipe “as is” for you all to decide how you would prefer it. 😉  


dark choc bbq chicken


But I can tell you this, either way you choose to play with this sauce, and BOTH ways were truly excellent, you will NOT be disappointed!! 😀 It would make for wonderful gifts, too, especially for die-hard barbecue fans!

I’m sure they would LOVE to be given a jar of this homemade barbecue sauce loaded with exquisite flavors including dark chocolate infused with chili! This is some seriously good barbecue sauce. 

I so hope you enjoy and get many uses from this sauce all summer long! No need to purchase so-so sauces anymore! This one will make you look like a rock star! 😉 Grill on!!! 😀  



Dark Chocolate Chipotle-Chili Barbecued Chicken (*or Wings and Drumettes)

Dark Chocolate Chipotle-Chili Barbecued Chicken (*or Wings and Drumettes)


For Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine, I used a cabernet sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbl. worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbl. chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp. aged sweet balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. sriracha chili sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. (3 thin squares), Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate-Chili
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up (or assorted wings and drumettes
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) apple juice

To Taste (chicken seasonings):

  • seasoned salt
  • garlic powder
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • sweet smoked paprika


  • In medium saucepan, combine all barbecue sauce ingredients. Heat over medium heat until dark chocolate has melted, stirring. Turn heat down and LOW simmer, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool down. Cover.
  • For whole chicken:
  • Cut into pieces, rinse, pat dry. Into roaster with lid, pour one 8 oz.bottle (or 1 cup) apple juice into bottom. Season chicken on each side as desired using spices listed above "to taste", place into roaster skin side-up. Cover, and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour. When done, place pieces onto baking sheet.
  • Coat top sides of chicken pieces with barbecue sauce. Oil grates of well-heated grill and place chicken coated (skin) sides down. Baste tops with sauce. Grill for 3-4 minutes, turn, baste again, and grill 3-4 minutes longer. Then just grill and baste chicken as desired over low heat until you have the desired amount of sauce on them and the sauce has cooked and charred to your liking. *Just don't overcook them, remember, they are already precooked.
  • For wings or drumettes:
  • Season wings and skip baking. Oil grates and grill with lid closed for 20 minutes, turning as needed. Then baste with sauce, turning, several times as desired.
  • Notes

    *Don't be shy with the seasonings for the chicken. I do a "nice" sprinkling of everything. Not light, not heavy, but a nice medium sprinkling. Don't worry, you really can't mess this up.
    **Sub for Lindt Chocolate-Chili: 1 oz. dark chocolate "eating chocolate", (not unsweetened baking chocolate squares), plus more cayenne to replace the heat, add to taste starting with a 1/4 tsp.
    ***Subs for apple juice for less sweet: light beer or water work perfectly fine.


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