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Add a little sweet to your spicy chicken

August 08, 2013|Scott Anderson | Culinary Passion

This barbecue chicken recipe features a down-home variation using apple butter, cider vinegar and some fresh herbs for a kicked-up flavor.  

For an easy prep, I stayed with boneless, skinless breasts, but you can always go with bone in, and switch it up to include just wings, or a whole bird that you cut up.

This recipe includes a sweeter version of sauce so make sure not to flame up the grill. Anytime flame licks up on something it gives the meat a fuel taste and with the sugary sauce it will burn and give the chicken a horrible aftertaste. 

So if you need to brush on sauce while grilling make sure you do so near the end of grilling.

Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. 

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Sweet and saucy barbecue chicken

8 boneless, skin-on, chicken breasts

1/2 cup apple butter

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup apple juice

1 1/2 cups tomato puree

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

1 shallot, peeled and minced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat grill to 375 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts in a large bowl. 

In a separate medium bowl, mix together apple butter, vinegar, apple juice, tomato puree, honey, Worchestershire, salt, cilantro, shallot and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup and pour remaining sauce evenly over the chicken breasts. Toss breasts in sauce to coat evenly and place in fridge for at least 45 minutes to marinate.

Place chicken on grill and sear for markings, turn 45 degrees after 2 minutes and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Turn grill down to 325 degrees, flip chicken, then grill and rotate for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, basting with reserved sauce. 

Continue cooking until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Remove chicken breasts, tent under foil to allow juices to pull back into meat. 

 Serve with grilled garden veggies, a fresh tossed salad, and a fresh glass of tart lemonade.


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