Blackberry BBQ Chicken

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes



  • For the BBQ chicken
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 whole chipotle pepper plus 3 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 6 ounces fresh blackberries, washed
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the corn and quinoa salad
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 ears of corn or 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • neutral oil, such as avocado or vegetable, as needed



Make the sauce by stirring together the tomato paste, vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, garlic and blackberries in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce is bubbling and the blackberries have broken down, about 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to blend the sauce (be extra careful if using a blender; leave the lid cracked so the steam doesn’t cause it to burst everywhere) until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve if desired to remove any seeds.

While the sauce is cooking, make the salad. Pour the water into a small saucepot and bring to a boil before stirring in the quinoa. Bring to a boil again, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook over medium heat for 12 minutes then remove it from the heat and let it sit, covered still, for 5 minutes to absorb any remaining water. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

If you are using ears of corn, heat a grill pan or grill over high heat. Rub the corn with a bit of oil and season with salt and pepper before placing them on the hottest part of the pan. Grill until dark brown all the way around. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off of the cobs then add them to the bowl with the quinoa. If you are using canned or frozen corn, drain any liquid if canned and heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of oil and, once the oil is shimmering and hot, add the corn. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are golden brown. Add to the bowl with the quinoa.

Stir in the cucumber, scallions and feta along with the vinegar, oil and cilantro. Taste and season with salt as needed. At this time you can chill the salad or serve it warm or at room temperature.

To cook the chicken heat the grill pan or grill over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin side down on the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, until the skin has turned brown and is crispy to the touch. Brush the meat with some of the blackberry sauce before flipping over. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has begun to caramelize. Brush the skin with some of the sauce and flip so the chicken is skin side down again. Brush the meat with more sauce and repeat, flipping the chicken every 2 or 3 minutes, until it is cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat reads 165°F). Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for a few minutes.

Serve on a platter with more of the blackberry sauce and the quinoa salad on the salad.