Updated: May 4
It's still blueberry season in the South, and you're probably seeing blueberry baked goods everywhere. However, it’s a game changer when you let yourself explore blueberries beyond just appreciating their sweetness.
I promised to share some savory blueberry recipes with you, and I'm making good on that promise today. Today I'm going to share my blue BBQ sauce with you: sweet with little notes of tartness and a spicy kick.
Unlike traditional Eastern Carolina-style BBQ sauce, this blue BBQ sauce pairs well with cheese and can be used as the fruit component of the salad dressing, cocktail drinks, toppings for desserts, etc. My favorite way to enjoy this sauce is with Brie cheese; it makes a wonderful appetizer for cocktail parties. Kind of like that old-fashioned pepper jelly with cream cheese and crackers.
But today it’s all about the savory dish. In this recipe, I paired my blue BBQ sauce with chicken thighs with the skin on and bones in. Whether you decide to make chicken or pork, make sure to brush this sauce on toward the end of cooking and let it soak in a bit before serving. The last brush is the key to the beautiful glaze. Let’s begin…
Prep time: 5 minute
Cooking time for the sauce: 30 minutes
Cooking time for the chicken: 30-40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Serve 2 portions.
3-5 thighs with skin on and bone in
1-2 teaspoons black pepper
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups blueberries (imperfect are fine)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups raw cane sugar
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
It's best to make the sauce ahead of time and let it refrigerate overnight before you taste the final product. This gives the flavors time to mix and mellow out.
1. Combine the blueberries and ½ cup of apple cider vinegar in a food processor. Pulse the berries just to break them up. You are not trying to make a perfect purée, you're just trying to break them up.
2. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Bring them to a simmer over low heat, then cover and cook for 25 minutes. Give it a stir once in a while so it won’t burn.
3. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Carefully with an immersion blender, blend the sauce to get it as smooth as you can.
4. Cook for another 10 minutes uncovered. The sauce should reduce by a third and should coat the back of a spoon. The perfect consistency should be closer to maple syrup than honey.
5. Half an hour before you plan to cook the chicken, bring it to room temperature. Season the chicken thoroughly with black pepper and salt. Preheat your grill to around 325F.
6. Place the chicken skin-side up on the grill and close the lid. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Then begin basting the blueberry sauce every 5 minutes for an additional 20 minutes, turning the chicken over each time. Keep the grill lid closed between basting. Using a thermometer, check the temperature of a meaty part of the leg. Check the temperature with thermometer, if it’s at 165f, remove it from the grill.
7. Douse the chicken in blueberry sauce and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Perfect for the dinner in the summer.
To store the sauce, simply put it in a mason jar and leave it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.