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.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, June/July 2006


Recipe Summary

2 hrs 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • Preheat grill to high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the chicken from the marinade. Transfer the marinade to a medium skillet.

  • 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.

  • 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 Facts

182 calories; protein 23.4g; carbohydrates 15.3g; dietary fiber 0.7g; sugars 12.9g; fat 2.7g; saturated fat 0.8g; cholesterol 62.7mg; vitamin a iu 93.4IU; vitamin c 1.9mg; folate 5.2mcg; calcium 19.1mg; iron 1.1mg; magnesium 25.3mg; potassium 278.8mg; sodium 196.3mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 9g.

Reviews (5)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More