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Grilled Maple-Chipotle Chicken

I adapted this recipe from one I found online that was an adaptation from a cook-off recipe contest for pork chops. I kept the ratios but added a brining component because I feel it makes a big difference for lean meats like chicken breasts. 

Prep time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1/2 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients for Glaze
  • 1/4  cup  barbecue sauce
  • 1/4  cup  maple syrup
  • 1-2  chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded (about 1 Tablespoon minced)* 
  • 1  teaspoon  adobo sauce from the can
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • pinch of salt (optional, most of the other ingredients are pretty salty)

Ingredients for Brine

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4  cup  barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1  chipotle pepper + some adobo sauce (about 1 Tablespoon minced)
  • 3/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

6 ea. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Mix the brine ingredients in a large container making sure to allow the ingredients to fully dissolve.  Once dissolved, place the chicken in the brine and marinate for 1/2 hour.  You can go a little longer, but beware, anything over an hour will make the chicken rubbery.

Combine the ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

While the chicken is brining, prepare your grill. I arranged the charcoal in my grill on one side only.  This way I had a "hot side" and a "cool side".  This would come in handy later as you could move some of the breasts away from the heat if they were overcooking.

Remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry and place on the hot grill.  Cook for about five minutes and then turn over, and cook for another five minutes.  Cook on a medium hot grill for about 5 minutes per side.  After boths sides were done brush the glaze and turn, cook for a minute, brush glaze on the other side and turn again.  Be careful, the sugars in the glaze will burn if left too long. 

Remove the finished breasts to a plate and let stand for about 10 minutes.  Be sure to check them with a thermometer to make sure they are cooked through (145° to 155°) and the juices run clear.

*I use Herdez Chipolte in Adobo.  Since I use so little, I seed and then freeze the remainder for later use. 

Original recipe by:  Bob Gadsby, Great Falls, Montana, Southern Living, JULY 2004

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