Cherry-Bourbon Barbecue Chicken is an easy and tasty dish perfect to serve at casual gatherings.
Cherry-Bourbon Barbecue Chicken
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
- 1½ pounds dried cherries
- 1 cup bourbon
- 2⅔ cups water, divided
- ½ cup agave or honey
- 8 ounces tomato paste
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided
- 3½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- In a medium bowl, combine cherries and bourbon. Let stand for 4 hours. (Do not drain.)
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 cups water, agave or honey, tomato paste, vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke, and almond extract over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Add hot sauce to taste. Stir in cherries and bourbon. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let cool for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
- Working in batches, transfer cherry mixture to the container of a blender, and process until mostly smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of container. Add remaining ⅔ cup water if mixture becomes too thick to blend. Using a spatula, press cherry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. Pour 1½ cups cherry mixture into a small bowl; refrigerate remaining cherry mixture for up to 2 weeks.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels; place on prepared pan.
- In a small bowl, stir together remaining 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper; sprinkle all over chicken. Brush reserved cherry mixture all over chicken.
- Bake, skin side up, for 15 minutes. Brush chicken again with reserved cherry mixture. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°, 20 to 25 minutes more. Serve with remaining cherry mixture.