Cherry Bomb Chicken Recipe -
Cherry Bomb Chicken Recipe
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Cherry Bomb BBQ Chicken
See how to make BBQ chicken with explosively good flavor. See more
  • READY IN 5+ hrs

Cherry Bomb Chicken

Recipe by  

"Thanks to the magic of brining, this really will almost guarantee a juicy, tasty piece of chicken."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    40 mins

    5 hrs 40 mins


  1. Combine water, kosher salt, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat; cook until sugar and salt dissolve, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Score the skin side of each piece of chicken 2 to 3 times, about 1/8 inch deep. Place chicken pieces in a large bowl or lidded container.
  3. Puree cherry tomatoes, habanero peppers, garlic, and allspice with the salt and sugar mixture in a blender until smooth.
  4. Pour tomato brine over chicken pieces, making sure all pieces are covered. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
  5. Remove chicken pieces and transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Pat chicken pieces dry with more paper towels.
  6. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  7. Combine thyme, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oil in a small bowl.
  8. Brush each chicken piece with thyme and oil mixture.
  9. Cook chicken, skin side down, on the preheated grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn each piece and move to indirect heat. Cook until well-browned and meat is no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  10. Brush each piece with Thai sweet chile sauce. Transfer to a plate and allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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  • Editor's Note:
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 06, 2012

Absolutely amazing!!! I must admit I was scared of the habanero peppers so I substituted with jalapenos...BUT next time I am making exactly as the recipe says. Definitely making this again, and again, and again!!!! UPDATE: Remade with the habanero peppers, DELICIOUS!! Don't change a thing. Also, if you have questions watch Chef John's video on this is extremely helpful!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 27, 2015


Jul 19, 2012

Delicious! I always brine my chicken. I usually just use beer and salt, but this adds extra flavor. UPDATE: I have made this a couple of times now, and the frist time I made as is and the second time I only used 3 1/2 TBSP of salt and marinated it over night, the flavor was much better and less salty as the original recipe. Do use gloves when handling the habanero peppers and make sure to dry the chicken well before grilling, that way the skin will crisp up.

Jun 25, 2012

The PERFECT bbq chicken! I had never tried to grill chicken before, so I was nervous. It turned out amazing, and all 3 people I made dinner for told me it was the best bbq chicken they had ever had! Next time I make it (which will be soon), I am thinking about adding some fresh pineapple to the brine. Amazing!

Apr 15, 2012

OMG OMG OMG - made this chicken yesterday and it was amazing. Can't stop thinking about it - may have to make it again today. Chef John I love you!

Aug 21, 2012

The magic of brining is exactly right, well done Chef John. This is so moist and flavorful, the only change I made was to use a whole chicken split in half and weigh the chicken down with tinfoil covered bricks while grilling. The extra weight flattens the chicken for better grill marks and a more even cooking surface. Thanks for the Cherry BOMB Chicken, BTW...if you have leftovers, pull the chicken and add a little bbq sauce for an awesome bbq chicken on a bun meal completed with beans and slaw.

Jul 06, 2014

Great recipe! I used 4 chicken breasts instead and wasn't up to firing up the grill so I baked them instead. 450 degree oven 35-40 min depending on the thickness of your chicken. Another tip that I always use is to place a wire rack in my roasting pan. This elevates the chicken for better circulation and produces crispier skin. I am always on the look out for great brine recipes and this one qualifies. Love the allspice flavor.

Jun 17, 2012

No need to repeat what's already been said. An excellent recipe for moist and delicious chicken. It was actually quite simple to make.


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  • Calories
  • 490 kcal
  • 24%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 22.6 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 129 mg
  • 43%
  • Fat
  • 25.3 g
  • 39%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 41.5 g
  • 83%
  • Sodium
  • 5252 mg
  • 210%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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