Monday, July 19, 2010

Dutch Oven Berried Chicken

My first encounter with combining fruit and poultry was at a sandwich shop that sold a turkey sandwich with raspberry jam.  I was skeptical, but my wife raved about it, so I tried it.  In a single bite, I was convinced.  Yum!

So, then I saw this recipe for raspberry baked chicken over at Dutch Oven Madness, and it really intrigued me.  She said she didn’t like her result, however, and I wasn’t sure why at first. The recipe drew me in, however, and made me want to experiment with it.  I thought that one of the reasons why it might not have had a good flavor, as she said, was that all there was to it was chicken and sweet.  I thought that there needed to be some savory flavors to add a bit to the chicken, then the sweet and tang of the berries would be another layer of flavor.  I did some web research and got some ideas of how to expand it.  A couple of recipes used some spices and the berries as a marinade.  That sounded kinda interesting.

My results were good, but not great.  I liked the taste, and so did my friends, but it didn’t look as great as I’d hoped.  The berry marinade ended up as a purple/brown soupy sauce.  I also wasn’t blown away by it.  It wasn’t as “Wow!” as I’d hoped.  They all had seconds, so that was a good sign. 

Still, I think that had I done it differently, it would have tasted better.  Instead of adding all the ingredients to the marinade, and cooking the chicken, I think I’d make the chicken separate from the berry sauce, and then serve them together.  I think that would make the savory and the sweet more distinct. Another thing I think I’ll do differently is to make sure that the chicken is fully thawed and patted dry.  There was a lot of liquid still in the chicken, and so the berry sauce ended up too runny, and I had to thicken it with some cornstarch.  I was hoping it would be more of a glaze, and that didn’t work.

So, now I’m faced with the dilemma:  Do I write it up as I did it, or as I would like to do it next time?  Hmmm...

I think I’ll do the latter, this time.

Dutch Oven Berried Chicken

12” Dutch Oven
10 coals below
14 coals above

10” Dutch Oven
12-14 coals below

  • 3-4 lbs chicken breast (I used frozen)

  • ~1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ~1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • ~1 Tbsp Pepper
  • ~1 Tbsp Paprika
  • ~ 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ~ 1 tsp chili powder
  • ~ 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 cup blueberries + some extra
  • 1 cup raspberries + some extra
  • 1 cup blackberries + some extra
  • 1/2 can of pineapple juice concentrate
  •  1/4 cup honey

Start off with the chicken meat.  Since I used frozen chicken pieces, I’d recommend thawing them completely, draining them, and patting them dry in paper towels.  Then, mix up the other ingredients.  When I did this, I was guessing at amounts.  I’m basically creating a rub, so you could even use a pre-packaged meat/grilling seasoning.  I kept mixing at about these proportions, tasting with my finger along the way.  If you want more of one thing or another, you can adjust it.

Then, coat the meat in in the rub (I used a plastic ziplock baggie to shake it all up), then put it all in the fridge for a few hours.

Get the coals ready, and give your dutch oven a quick spritz of spray oil.  Then spread the chicken pieces over the bottom of the oven.  Put those on the coals to bake.

Toni, over at Dutch Oven Madness, just used raspberries, I used a mix of berries because the first store I visited didn’t have any raspberries.  I did finally find some, though, so I just decided to mix it all in.   I added all of the berries and the juice concentrate into a bowl and mashed it all up together.  After tasting it, I felt like it needed a bit more sweet in with the sour, so I added some honey. Another thought I had, however, later on, was to use apple juice concentrate instead of pineapple. 

At this point, I would do it differently than what I actually did.  Instead of blending the berries with the chicken and baking, I’d put the berry mix alone into my 10” dutch oven and put it on the coals to simmer and reduce.

As the chicken nears done, and the sauce is good and thick, I’d stir some full, raw berries into the sauce, so they’d just have enough time to come up to temperature (but not really “cook”) before serving over the baked and seasoned chicken.  I wonder how some chopped fresh mint leaves would taste in that sauce....  Hmmmm...

Now, in my mind, that sounds like it would look and taste much yummier than what I got (notice I didn’t take any pictures this time...  I will next time!).  Like I said, it was good, but not as good as it should or could have been.

So, many thanks to Toni for the inspiration and the motivation to try something new!  To experiment!  That’s what helps me to learn.

Note from Mark:  I tried this one again a few weeks later.  Here's the result!


Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.


  1. I'm glad I wasn't the only one that wasn't wowed by the recipe. I love the idea of adding the savory and sweet. I really love what you did with the recipe. Don't be surprised to see it on my blog soon! I even have fresh raspberries and blackberries in my garden! Hmmmmm...

  2. Well, check out the redux a few posts later! Much, much better! And thanks again for the idea!



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