Grilled Chicken Thighs With Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Grilled Chicken Thighs With Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post

Blueberries give this lip-smacking barbecue sauce a stunning indigo color and fresh, fruity sweetness without the refined sugar and additives in many bottled sauces.

Here, the sauce is brushed onto chicken thighs toward the end of grilling and chars pleasantly on the meat without burning. If you’d rather avoid the purplish hue the sauce imparts, brush the chicken with a little honey instead and serve the sauce alongside.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Ingredients

FOR THE SAUCE

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup canned, no-salt-added tomato sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

Directions

For the sauce: Combine the berries, tomato sauce, molasses, vinegar, chili powder, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally; once the mixture is barely bubbling at the edges. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes, or until the berries soften and are nearly bursting. Cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. You should have about 1 cup of sauce.

For the chicken: Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Brush a grill or grill pan with oil and preheat it over medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for about 3 minutes per side. Lightly brush each side with the sauce and continue to grill 1 to 2 more minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked though and is nicely browned with visible grill marks.

Serve right away, drizzled with more sauce (about 1 tablespoon more sauce per portion).

Note: Here, the sauce is brushed onto chicken thighs toward the end of grilling and chars pleasantly on the meat without burning. If you’d rather avoid the purplish hue the sauce imparts, brush the chicken with a little honey instead and serve the sauce alongside. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: Calories 220; Total Fat 6g; (Sat Fat 2g); Protein 33g; Carb 8g; Fiber 0g; Cholesterol 150mg; Sodium 430mg; Total Sugar 6g

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