Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken

When I started playing around with this recipe, I knew it was going to be delicious. Then the name Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken, say that three times fast! The sweet and savory components, accompanied by the complexity of the flavors, really shine through in this dish.  If you’re not a fan of blackberries, don’t worry, there are other fruit options, like, apricots, peaches, even raspberries.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is how I’m preparing the chicken, for this dish. I know, whenever you make a one-pot meal, the browning of the protein, first, is very important. This part of the cooking process ensures extra flavor and seals in the juices.

The browning of the meat in oil, and having to do that process in batches, can be a real pain. The oil splatters and it can get really messy. I’ve decided to oven roast the chicken and eliminate that step. The chicken still comes out caramelized and, NO MESS!

2015-01-08 12.06.59

2015-01-08 12.29.54

2015-01-08 11.54.42

2015-01-08 12.11.52

2015-01-08 12.14.45

2015-01-08 12.16.21

2015-01-08 12.19.36

2015-01-08 12.20.53

2015-01-08 12.23.08

2015-01-08 12.22.31


2015-01-08 12.34.38

2015-01-08 12.36.25

2015-01-08 13.21.44

2015-01-08 13.29.26

2015-01-08 14.35.43

2015-01-08 14.37.20


Red Quinoa



Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes
Note: The chicken roasts at the same time the sauce is being prepared.
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (2 pieces of chicken per plate)
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven

Ingredients For Roasting Chicken:
4 large chicken breast, bone-in skin-on (cut breast in half yielding 8 pieces)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion diced
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pint of good bourbon
4 to 5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 (12.75) jar of sugar-free seedless blackberry jam
1 standard bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
2 1/2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
2 pints of fresh blackberries, reserve 1-pint for garnish
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Ingredients For Quinoa:
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted (substitute water)

Directions For Roasting Chicken:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
After you’ve cut the 2 chicken breasts in half, pat them dry really well. Place the 8 breasts on two baking sheets. Brush each of the chicken pieces with olive oil sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of  Kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, start the sauce on the top of the stove. Once you have all the ingredients working on top of the stove. Next, turn the oven to the broil position. Keep a close eye on the chicken, and continue cooking for around another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown.  Remove the chicken from the oven and set it aside.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
The chicken will finish cooking during the braising process.

Directions For Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Sauce:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a 6-quart Dutch oven on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the bourbon allowing the liquid to reduce by half.

Turn the heat down to medium, add the sugar-free blackberry jam, stir to combine. Next, add the liquids, the barbecue sauce, and chicken broth. Again, stir to combine. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 1 minute more.

Add the chicken to the pot. Bring the pot back up to a bubble, reduce to a simmer, and place the lid on. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked,  or until an instant-read thermometer shows an internal temperature 165-degrees F. and chicken is tender.

Once the pot comes out of the oven, carefully transfer the chicken to a plate. With the stove on medium heat, bring the sauce up to temperature, continually stirring so the sauce doesn’t burn and thickens about 5 minutes.

Place the chicken back into the pot. Add the fresh blackberries. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook with lid off, occasionally stirring for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: While the chicken is simmer in the sauce, start the quinoa.

Directions For Quinoa:
Cooks Note:  Be sure to rinse the quinoa thoroughly before cooking as there is a bitter coating on the grains.
In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and chicken broth (or water) to a boil. Reduce to medium-low, cover. Simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed about 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To Serve:
Spoon the quinoa onto the plate. Place the chicken on top and ladle some of that delicious sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh blackberries and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot.

There you have it my Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken.