As a member of the Cranberry Bog Blogger program, I received free samples of cranberry sauce from the Cranberry Institute for use in this recipe. All opinions about cranberries are my own.
When you think of cranberries, I’m gonna guess you probably don’t think about barbecue or grilling. That’s because you only see cranberries around the holidays – they’re native to North America and only harvested from September through early November. They’re Thanksgiving food for most of us, as in this Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish, or as a pop of tartness and color in these Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Delicata Squash.
I have to confess, I’ve never actually eaten canned jellied cranberry sauce – I really prefer to make my own sauce for the holidays or any other time, and honestly, I’m not so sure about the jelly thing. But the folks at the Cranberry Institute sent some samples and a recipe for barbecue sauce, and my wheels started turning…
It turns out that jellied cranberry sauce is a perfect base for a basting or barbecue sauce. It cooks down into a sweet and tangy deliciousness, which complements the savory ingredients. I decided to experiment a bit and came up with an Asian flavored barbecue sauce, which was a hands down hit in my house when paired with shredded grilled chicken and served on bulky rolls with an Asian slaw.
While fresh cranberries are available only in the fall (stock up because you can freeze them for up to a year), cranberry sauce is available year-round, so pick up a can and experiment! Cranberries are also quite a healthy little fruit – full of various antioxidants and compounds that protect us from urinary tract infections and other chronic diseases.
Cranberry-Asian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 8 oz jellied cranberry sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 6 hamburger rolls
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan and sauté onion and garlic for about 3 minutes.
- Add cranberry sauce and stir to break apart and melt.
- Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili paste, and sesame oil and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer the sauce on low for about 15 minutes or until thickened.
- Add the shredded chicken to the pan and toss well to coat with sauce. Let the chicken heat for about 10 minutes.
- Serve shredded chicken on bulkie rolls, topped with coleslaw if desired.