Looking for a unique and healthy grilled chicken recipe that’s perfect for summer? Our Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Sauce is not only delicious, but also packed with nutritious ingredients. Everybody loves chicken, but sometimes it can be difficult to find new and exciting ways to prepare it without overindulging in unhealthy ingredients. This sweet and savory chicken recipe is ideal for your next barbecue or dinner party, offering a creative twist on traditional grilled chicken dishes.
For the grilled chicken:
- Chicken thighs: The star of the show, providing protein and a juicy, tender base for our flavorful marinade.
- Lemon zest: Adds a tangy, citrus zing to the chicken, while also providing vitamin C.
- Thyme: An aromatic herb that complements the lemon zest and enhances the overall flavor profile.
- Garlic: A staple ingredient for adding depth and taste, while also providing immune-boosting benefits.
- Salt: Balances flavors and helps break down proteins for a more tender chicken.
- Pepper: Adds a bit of heat and helps bring out the other flavors in the marinade.
For the blueberry sauce:
While the list of ingredients might appear daunting, don’t hesitate to modify the spice mix to suit your preferences. The current blend offers an impressive depth and complexity of flavors.
- Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants and natural sweetness, these berries are the foundation of our sauce.
- Red onion: Adds a sharp, savory contrast to the sweet blueberries, while also providing vitamins and minerals.
- Apple cider vinegar: Gives the sauce its tangy kick and helps balance the sweetness of the berries.
- Honey: A natural sweetener that enhances the blueberry flavor without using refined sugars.
- Salt: Balances the sweetness and acidity of the sauce.
- Peppercorns: Add a subtle, spicy kick and depth to the sauce.
- Cinnamon stick: Provides warmth and a hint of spice to complement the blueberries.
- Caraway seeds: Add earthy, slightly sweet flavor to the sauce.
- Cumin seeds: Contribute a warm, smoky taste that elevates the overall flavor profile.
- Fennel seeds: Offer a slight licorice flavor, adding complexity to the sauce.
- Star anise: Brings a subtle, sweet spice that pairs well with the blueberries.
- Ginger: Adds zing and freshness to the sauce, while also providing digestive benefits.
Step-by-Step How to Make:
- Prepare the chicken rub.
- Rub the chicken and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
- Infuse the vinegar for the sauce.
- Strain the spices, add blueberries, and cook until soft.
- Turn off the heat and add onions.
- Grill the chicken.
- Serve the chicken with the sauce.
(See full recipe below.)
Recipe Tips and Substitutions:
- The sauce can be served warm or at room temperature and can be made in advance or even frozen.
- Feel free to omit some of the spices if you don’t have them; the sauce will still be delicious.
- For a dramatic look, serve with a salad of arugula and strawberries tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, topped with feta cheese, and a side of grilled corn.
- A simple green salad.
- Roasted potatoes.
- A broccoli salad.
Store leftover grilled chicken and blueberry sauce separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat chicken gently before serving.
- Use shallots instead of red onion.
- Replace some spices with your favorites or use what you have on hand.
- Use a different kind of vinegar.
- Try using the sauce on grilled chicken breasts too – it’s guaranteed to be just as scrumptious!
This Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Sauce recipe is perfect for those looking to add a unique twist to their summer grilling repertoire. Bursting with flavor and packed with nutritious ingredients, it’s sure to become a new favorite at your next barbecue or dinner party.
Inspired by this recipe from Sunset Magazine: Grilled Chicken with Pickled Blueberries
More Favorite Recipes:
- Mediterranean grilled chicken
- Spinach broccoli blueberry salad
- Tuna Nicoise Salad Recipe
- Arugula Strawberry Salad
Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Sauce
For the grilled chicken
- To prepare the chicken rub, mix lemon zest, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Apply the rub evenly on the chicken, including under the skin. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- In a small saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients except the blueberries and onions, which will be added later. Heat the mixture over medium heat, allowing it to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the saucepan rest for 30 minutes to infuse the flavors fully. Strain the liquid onto the blueberries, discarding the spices.
- Add the blueberries and liquid back into the pan. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 5-10 minutes until the blueberries begin to soften.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the thinly sliced onions. Allow the sauce to rest at room temperature until ready to serve.
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (400°F). Lightly drizzle olive oil over the chicken to prevent sticking. Place the chicken skin-side down on the grill. Lower the heat to medium, cover the grill, and cook the chicken, turning once, until it's no longer pink in the thickest part (approximately 30 minutes, depending on the size).
- Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving with the blueberry sauce.