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Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken Over Red Quinoa

on January 12, 2015

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When I started playing around with this recipe, I somehow knew it was going to be delicious. The sweet and savory components, accompanied by its complexity in flavors shine through. I will say that if you’re not a fan of blackberries, not to worry, because, there are other fruit options, like, apricots, peaches, even raspberries. The other thing I wanted to talk about is the preparing of the chicken. I know that whenever you make a one pot meal, like braised short ribs, Coq au Vin, or even this chicken dish, the browning of the protein first is very important. This part of the cooking process ensures extra flavor and seals in the juices. To be honest, the browning of the meat in oil in batches can be a real pain. The oil splatters all over and it just takes some time to do. I decided,why not roast the meat off in the oven first and eliminate this step. You know do it all at one time, so that’s what I’ve done here. The meat is still all caramelized and no mess.

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Alright, so here I have four large chicken breasts, skin-on, bone-in, that I’ve cut in half. I patted them all dry really well with a paper towel, then seasoned them with Kosher salt and pepper. I drizzled olive oil over the tops of all the chicken and roasted them off, on two sheet pans, in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Then I turned the oven over to broil to really bring home that crunchy brown skin, just like you would get if you were to brown them off in the pot. Now, once you’ve turned the oven over to broil, it only takes a couple of minutes for this part of the process, so you want to keep a close eye on the chicken. I would say maybe 5-7 minutes under broil on the dial. I’m not trying to cook the chicken here, that will happen during the braising process, I just want that golden brown color on the skin. While the chicken is browning in the oven, on top of the stove, I’ve started making the sauce that the chicken will be cooking in.

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Here at the top picture are my ingredients. Of course you could make your own barbecue sauce, but why would you with everything else that’s going on. Buy you favorite bottled sauce or maybe you have some on hand that you can use, because it’s all going to cook down anyway to make this amazing sauce. Save your homemade barbecue sauce when you want to make that the star of your dish, know what I mean. In a large heavy bottom pot I have some onions and garlic sauteing in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. If you like some heat in your dish, add some cayenne pepper too, that’s totally optional. Once the onions and garlic have softened nicely, add in a cup of your favorite bourbon. On med high heat let the bourbon reduce by half.

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Next, turn down the heat to med and add in the sugar free blackberry jam. I figured there is enough sugar in the barbecue sauce that I didn’t need the extra in the jam. Stir this all around until the jam has been incorporated. To that add in the bottle of barbecue sauce. Let all this cook for just a minute or two before adding in the chicken broth. Now add in the chicken broth, stirring the sauce all together. Place all the chicken pieces back into the pot.

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As you can see. after adding in the chicken, the liquid has risen, and that’s fine. You don’t want the chicken to be completely submerged in the braising sauce. Bring everything up to a bubble then reduce to a simmer. Place the lid on the pot.

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Now place the pot into a 350 degree oven for around 40-45 minutes.

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Once the pot has come out of the oven, remove the chicken from the pot and place on a dish for a minute. Let the sauce reduce on top of the stove on med heat. Watch the sauce carefully, stirring it continuously so it doesn’t burn. The sauce will thicken to the point where it coats the back of a wooden spoon. At this point add the chicken back in, and add in those beautiful blackberries.

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Still on med heat, continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes with the lid off, gently stirring. This is when I start my Quinoa on another burner. After 15 minutes, remove the pot of blackberry #barbecuechicken from the heat, place the lid back on so it stays nice and hot. The Quinoa takes about 15-18 minutes as well.

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One cup of Quinoa to two cups of low sodium chicken broth. I just bring all that to a boil on med high heat, then reduce it to a simmer, turning the heat down to med low, and put a lid on. Continue simmering for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the Quinoa with a fork.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes ( long enough to chop onions and garlic)
Cooking Time: 1 hour- 1-15 minutes ( remember the chicken is browning at the same time the sauce is be prepared on top of the stove)
Yields: 4 servings ( if you are serving 2 pieces of chicken per plate)

4 large chicken breast, bone-in skin-on
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
Ingredients for sauce:
1 large onion diced
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper ( plus 1 teaspoon of cayenne optional)
1 pint of good bourbon
4-5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 small jar of sugar free blackberry jam
1 standard bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
2-1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 pint of fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Directions: While your roasting off you chicken at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, start you sauce on the top of the stove. Once you have all the ingredients working on top of the stove. Next turn the dial on the oven to broil for around 5-7 minutes to get that golden brown crust on the chicken. When that’s done browning remove the chicken from the oven and set it aside while you finish up adding the rest of the ingredients (except for the fresh blackberries) for the blackberry barbecue sauce. Add the roasted chicken back in and bring everything up to a bubble, then reduce to a simmer. Next put the lid on and place into a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. At this point remove the lid, take the chicken back out and reduce the sauce until the thickness coats the back of a wooden spoon. Maybe another 15 minutes or so on med low heat, stirring it occasionally so it doesn’t burn.  Let the flavors all concentrate. Add the chicken back in and the fresh blackberries. Give all this a gentle stir, let simmer with the lid off for another 15 minutes or so. That’s when you make the red Quinoa. This way the blackberries that you added at the end and the Quinoa will be done about the same time. Server the Quinoa as a bed for the delicious Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken to rest upon. Garnish with some fresh parsley. Once you try this dish and see how tender the chicken comes out and how all those flavors compliment each other. I just know this is one you’ll be making again and again.

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One response to “Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken Over Red Quinoa

  1. Chris says:

    I’m going to give this a try. Thanks

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