I decided that strawberry would be the predominant ingredient in my barbecue sauce and I used ingredients that I had on hand to doctor it up. I wanted it to have the twang of vinegar, the natural sweetness of strawberry, a bit of heat from chipotle and the smoky/salty flavor from bacon. I really liked how it turned out and so did hubby who was skeptical at first. I made Strawberry Balsamic Chipotle Bacon Barbecue Sauce and we basted our grilled chicken with it during the last few minutes of cooking. If you are looking for a different sweet, tangy, smoky, slightly spicy sauce, this sauce fits the bill. After the sauce simmered and had thickened, I pureed it with my immersion blender and then stirred in half of the bacon bits so there would still be little bits of bacon in the sauce (the other half of the bacon was blended into the sauce so the flavor would go throughout it. Since I already had the strawberry chia jam made, it only took about 30 minutes to make the barbecue sauce and I did that while hubby grilled the chicken. I also made my Easy Coleslaw to go with our barbecued chicken. I snapped a few photos below as well as included the easy peasy sauce recipe. Enjoy!
Strawberry Balsamic Chipotle Bacon Barbecue Sauce
Makes approximately 1 cup
3 strips bacon, diced
1 sliced green onion
1 large clove minced garlic
1 cup sugar free Strawberry Chia Jam
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic)
1 Tablespoon organic gluten free Tamari sauce
1 Tablespoon honey (I used sugar free honey substitute)
1 teaspoon black strap molasses, optional
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
Few dashes smoked paprika
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
In a 1 quart saucepan, brown diced bacon until crisp. Remove browned bacon and transfer to a small bowl using a slotted spoon (reserving bacon drippings in pan). Add onions to pan and saute for a couple of minutes over medium heat until they begin to soften; add garlic and cook about 1 minute.
Stir in strawberry chia jam, balsamic vinegar, Tamari sauce, honey, molasses, dry mustard, chipotle pepper, smoked paprika and half of the bacon bits. Cook on medium heat until sauce begins to bubble gently. Reduce heat and let simmer until sauce cooks down and begins to thicken, about 10 to 15 minutes. Puree sauce with an immersion blender or in the jar of a regular blender until smooth. Stir in remaining half of bacon bits. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and make any necessary adjustments.
*Note: It's best to reduce and thicken sauce to desired consistency before adding salt or tweaking chipotle, balsamic, etc. since flavors concentrate as it simmers.