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Grilled Chicken With Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 2 3/4 hrs (including 2 hrs marinating time)

Grilled Chicken With Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual marinade and sauce for grilled chicken. Recipe by Nancy Baggett.


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped (see Tips)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup cherry preserves
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, (see Note), or more to taste
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed


Step 1
Stir cherries, broth, preserves, ketchup, vinegar, chipotle peppers, thyme and allspice in a small deep bowl. Transfer to a shallow nonreactive dish (see Note) large enough to hold chicken. Add chicken and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Step 2
Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the chicken from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a medium skillet.
Step 3
Bring the marinade to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by about half, 12 to 15 minutes.
Step 4
Meanwhile, reduce the grill heat to medium and grill the chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, 7 to 9 minutes per side. Let the chicken cool slightly; serve with the sauce.


Tips: Be sure to measure frozen cherries while still frozen, then thaw. (Drain juice before using.) To pit a cherry, halve it with a paring knife then pry out the pit with the tip of the knife, or use a cherry pitter. To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray before placing it on the grill. Notes: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. A nonreactive pan—stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass—is best for acidic foods, such as lemon, to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart an off color and/or off flavor in acidic foods.

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