Around our house, we have three main requirements for a weeknight dinner: it’s quick, there’s little cleanup, and it’s downright delicious. Of course, we’re always looking for recipes that are healthy and budget friendly too, and this one checks all of those items off the list nicely. This Blueberry Barbecue Chicken and Rice is easy, tasty and makes great leftovers. It’s a dream come true in a skillet.
Now, we admit this technically isn’t a one-dish meal because of the homemade barbecue sauce, but it sure is close. The sauce simmers while the rice cooks, so it doesn’t add any extra time and it is definitely well worth it. You might be looking at us a little sideways over blueberries in barbecue sauce, but we promise you it’s a match made in heaven. The blueberries (fresh or frozen are both fine) lend a unique flavor and wonderful sweetness to the sauce that we just can’t get enough of. This recipe will give you about 2 1/2 cups, so you’ll have some leftover for beef or pork, or whatever you like! You technically could sub the barbecue sauce for a bottled variety, but you don’t really need to go and do that, do you? It’s just one little extra pot to wash. And a whole lot of deliciousness.
Blueberry Barbecue Chicken & Rice
30 minutes to prepare serves 4-6
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups white rice
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- For the sauce:
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, and carrot and cook until chicken is browned and no longer pink, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute longer.
- Stir in rice and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer until rice is nearly cooked through, 12-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make sauce: Combine blueberries, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, chili powder, pepper, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick and chunky, about 15 minutes. (If a smoother consistency is desired, you can blend or puree the sauce at this point.)
- When rice is nearly finished, stir in 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce and let simmer 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with additional sauce if desired. Enjoy!
Adapted from Buns in My Oven.