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 medium onion diced
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1-15 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 6 bulkie 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 remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 15 minutes or until thickened.
- While sauce is cooking, heat grill on high and grill chicken breasts until cooked through.
- Let chicken cool a bit so it's easier to handle.
- Shred chicken using two forks, and add shredded chicken to the pot of sauce.
- Toss chicken well to coat with sauce, and heat through.
- Serve shredded chicken on bulkie rolls, topped with coleslaw if desired.