Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, June/July 2006

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

Ingredients 8 servings

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  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped (see Tips)
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup cherry preserves
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, (see Note), or more to taste
  • 1¼ teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed


  • Active

  • Ready In

  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.
  2. Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the chicken from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a medium skillet.
  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.
  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.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • 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.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 182 calories; 3 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 15 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 5 mcg folate; 63 mg cholesterol; 13 g sugars; 9 g added sugars; 93 IU vitamin A; 2 mg vitamin C; 19 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 196 mg sodium; 279 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 3 lean meat

Reviews 5

September 11, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Hubby doesn't like chicken any way except fried or Shake 'N Bake, or Sweet and Sour Chicken. Tried hundreds of other recipes without success. Hubby RAVED, yes, RAVED about this recipe. I almost fell off my chair! I will be making this again and again. Thank you for helping me keep my sanity. Pros: Sweet and spicy - great combination
December 04, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Wonderful Break From The Norm The chicken was delicious. I chose to use only half of the chipotle as recommended in other reviews. Doing this allowed my 6 year old to enjoy as well. Will definitely make this again. Pros: Most of the ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
April 14, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Sweet Heat! I am a HUGE fan of 'sweet heat', and this sauce does not disappoint. The only thing I did differently was to reduce the amount of cherry preserves, b/c the ones I purchased seemed overly sweet. This is great on grilled chicken, but I also used it on a dish I created - Cornflake-Crusted Chicken Tenderloins on Sweet Potato Waffles. Really delicious! Pros: Simple to prepare, excellent flavor Cons: Could be a little too sweet for some
June 03, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Loved this sauce! The flavor is sweet, smoky and a little spicy. It's the perfect sauce to add a little "zing" to grilled chicken.
January 09, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
this sauce is fabulous! I have used it on chicken and pork and it is always a hit. My daughter doesn't like any spice/heat so I take some out and marinate her meat separately without the chipotle. Easy to make and if you are a cherry lover like me, it doesn't get much better.
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