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Cherry Bomb Chicken

Rated as 4.77 out of 5 Stars

"Thanks to the magic of brining, this really will almost guarantee a juicy, tasty piece of chicken."
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5 h 40 m servings 490
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  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.


  • 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.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 490 calories; 25.3 22.6 41.5 129 5252 Full nutrition

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  1. 151 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

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 ...

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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 ...

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...

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 ...

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!

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 tinfoi...

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 t...

This chicken has the BEST flavor! We used chicken drumsticks with the skin on and also boneless skinless chicken breasts. They were both excellent! We also tried it with and without the sweet...

This recipe is the bomb, literally! I marinated the chicken for about 8 hours- 4 breasts on the bone (skin on) along with 2 thighs (skin on) and followed the directions exactly. The chicken had ...

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