Chipotle Maple Barbecue Sauce

I came across this recipe years and years ago in the long since defunct Gourmet magazine, and while I would love to give credit where credit is due, I can no longer find the source copy for reference. Fortunately, I had committed it to memory, as I make it all of the time – it is one of the best barbecue sauces I’ve ever tasted and most simple to make. You would never guess there is not one drop of tomato sauce in it; instead, it is based completely upon roasted bell peppers. Because of this, it is important to roast your own peppers, as jarred will not yield the same depth of flavor. Baste the sauce over bone-in chicken breasts as they grill. Serve a separate portion in a big bowl alongside the chicken.

Chipotle Maple Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
I came across this recipe years and years ago in the long since defunct Gourmet magazine, and while I would love to give credit where credit is due, I can no longer find the source copy for reference. Fortunately, I had committed it to memory, as I make it all of the time – it is one of the best barbecue sauces I've ever tasted and most simple to make. You would never guess there is not one drop of tomato sauce in it; instead, it is based completely upon roasted bell peppers. Because of this, it is important to roast your own peppers, as jarred will not yield the same depth of flavor. Baste the sauce over bone-in chicken breasts as they grill. Serve a separate portion in a big bowl alongside the chicken.
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Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 chipotle chilis canned in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from chipotle can
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Begin by roasting the bell peppers. Preheat your broiler, and cut peppers into sections along the ribs, removing the stem and seeds. Place them on a foil lined baking sheet and broil until charred and blackened. Wrap the peppers up in the foil and let them steam for about 10 minutes.
  • Peel peppers and place them in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until very well pureed.
  • Scrape the puree into a saucepan and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes until thick an darkened in color. Partially cover the pot with a lid during cooking as it will splatter. Taste and add more salt if needed. Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Notes

I like to use this on grilled, bone-in chicken. For this, salt and pepper skinless breasts or legs/thighs, and place over high heat on your grill, turning after a few minutes, then reduce the heat and close the grill. After about 15 minutes begin basting with the sauce, turning to get both sides, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with the extra sauce.
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