Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Braised Chicken
Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Braised Chicken

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Braised Chicken

Starbucks VIA Colombia Braised Chicken

The coffee aisles of my local grocery stores have been growing in recent years.  But, for some reason, coffee has never really made into the mainstream as a cooking ingredient.  Perhaps that’s because ground coffee is too coarse to dissolve nicely into a sauce, and instant coffees are notorious for their crappiness.  Well, we may be turning a culinary corner with the introduction of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew – the first instant coffee from Starbucks, and a new staple-to-be of my spice rack.  For this recipe, I chose the Colombia roast, which is a medium-bodied coffee that adds a subtle but important rich background flavor to the braised chicken.  The sweet onions balance out the bitterness of the coffee and make this a wonderful and unique dish.

Makes: 2 Grande Servings
Total kitchen time: 75 minutes

Shopping list:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 single-serving packets Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Colombia
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • Olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat a dutch oven over high heat.  (You can use a heavy-bottomed pot or deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid).
  2. Coat the chicken breasts on all sides with a small amount of olive oil.  Add to the pot and sear each side until lightly browned, about 1 minute per side.  Remove the chicken and let rest.
  3. Add the cider vinegar and deglaze the bottom of the pan with a spoon (scrape up all the brown bits).
  4. Add the diced onion and reduce the heat to medium.  Sweat the onion over medium heat until softened and slightly browned, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Add the Starbucks VIA Ready Brew coffee and stir to coat the onions.  Then, add the water and brown sugar.  Stir to combine, and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Return the chicken to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken pulls apart easily with a fork. 
  7. Before plating, warm the white beans in a small skillet.  Plate a portion of beans into a shallow bowl, then add one chicken breast and top with onions.

I’m excited by the notion that coffee may appear more widely than as a pork rub or in baked goods.  I can’t think of any other ingredient that imparts as rich a flavor and aroma, except perhaps wine.  Hmm, coffee and wine sharing culinary characteristics?  This is gonna get really interesting…

Full disclosure: I got free stuff but that doesn’t pay for my opinion.

Starbucks Via Ready Brew Braised Chicken on Foodista


  1. As I live in Eastern Washington, the Starbucks VIA packets are not available. I thought I’d improvise and use Nescafe. Big mistake. Your dish looks fantastic and I hope to try it after my next jaunt over the mountains to get some VIA.

  2. Scott,

    This dish looks great! I just made a batch of white beans and now I know what I will be doing with the leftovers! I first saw this on I will keep your site bookmarked for sure!

    Alexa |

  3. Sam F


    The trick to not needing to worry about course coffee grounds is simply to make the coffee first. Dead simple.

    I make a great chili which, along with some Mexican chocolate, I through in a cup of espresso. It gives it a really rich, dark flavor. I think that something similar would work fine here as well.

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