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Chef John's Cherry Bomb Chicken

Cherry Bomb Chicken is another All Recipes Allstar project.  This time from the grill and SPECTACULAR!
Prep Time4 hours
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time4 hours 40 minutes
Course: Chicken, GRILLING
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ CHICKEN, grilled chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 209kcal


  • 1 whole 4 lb chicken cut into quarters


  • 1 quart water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 hot peppers I used thai chiles
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


  • 2 tbsp pepper jelly
  • 1 tbs Sriacha hot chili sauce


  • In a medium saucepan, combine the water, kosher salt and the sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat; cool.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, hot peppers and allspice to a blender. Pour in the cooled brine. Process until completely pureed. You may use a stick blender or a Ninja too for this step.
  • Make 1/8-inch deep slits on the skin side of the chicken (2 or 3 will do per piece) as this helps the marinade to infuse the chicken.
  • Place chicken in a large re-sealable container. Pour marinade over chicken. Cover and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
  • Mix the oil and the herbs.
  • Preheat one side of the grill to very hot. If you have a thermometer in the cover, grill should be about 450 to 500 degrees F. Oil the grill grids. Brush each piece of chicken on both sides with the herbed oil mixture.
  • Place chicken, skin side down over direct heat of grill. Grill for about 5 minutes, or until grill marks are present.
  • Move chicken to the UNLIT side of the grill (indirect heat) and continue cooking for 35-40 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is nicely brown.
  • Mix pepper jelly and hot sauce. Brush over chicken.
  • Remove chicken from grill and let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 9565mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 1051IU | Vitamin C: 80mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg