April 13, 2017

Blueberry BBQ Chicken Sliders

Blueberry BBQ Chicken Sliders

One of my fondest memories of childhood in the Northwest is berry picking. Golden summer days at one of the many farms located in the Willamette Valley, picking berries at the peak of ripeness, warm from the sun’s heat...there just wasn’t (and still isn’t) anything better. We would fill our buckets to the brim, and snack along the way. Now, as an adult with kids of my own, I let them do most of the picking and fill their bellies in the process.


...waiting for that first chance at picking out in the fields again.

When we get home there’s nothing I love more than to turn those fresh-off-the-vine berries into delicious summer pies, but I also make an effort to save and freeze enough for us to use throughout the fall (I always hope to have some left come winter, but no luck so far). It’s usually about this time of year, spring, when I start getting a bit impatient waiting for that first chance at picking out in the fields again. Our freezer reserves have long been used up and I’m just itching for that fresh berry taste to use in my cooking. Recently, I’ve come to rely on some tried and true trusted brands to carry me through until summer once again returns. Oregon Fruit, known for high-quality specialty fruit, is one such brand. And while I’ve been tempted to start making pies and baked goods, I’m trying to behave myself a bit more these days (because seriously, if it’s in the house I will eat it ALL).

Enter in these blueberry BBQ pulled chicken sliders with jalapeño slaw. I made the BBQ sauce using 2 cans of Oregon Fruit Blueberries, which were packed in summer at the peak of their ripeness to ensure maximum ripeness and flavor, something we can all appreciate. Even more, I appreciate the fact that their fruit is non-GMO, made without high fructose corn syrup, and canned in a can with a non-BPA lining, so I can feel just as good using these blueberries in meals for my family as I do when we pick them ourselves. Although these sweet, tender berries are offered up by Oregon Fruit year round, I especially love using them now as I eagerly await the return of our warm summer days. The sauce is tangy and sweet, and the salad bright, with a bit of heat. Paired with corn on the cob? My mouth is watering as I speak! It’s a meal I’m excited to add to our rotating dinner menu, and I can’t wait to make it for a crowd come summer.      

This is a sponsored post written by The Modern Proper on behalf of Oregon Fruit. The opinions and text are all ours.

Blueberry BBQ Chicken Sliders

Serves 6

Blueberry BBQ Sauce

2 cans Oregon Specialty Fruit Blueberries, drained, 1/4 cup liquid reserved
3/4 cup natural ketchup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp stone ground mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 4 total
16 mini slider buns
jalapeño slaw
sliced jalapeños

Method

  1. For the BBQ sauce, bring all ingredients, including the ¼ cup reserved blueberry juice to a gentle boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and blend in a high speed blender. Makes a little over 2 cups of sauce.
  2. Place chicken breasts into a slow cooker with ¾ cup blueberry sauce. Cook on high for 6 hours.   
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the slaw and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and allow flavors to combine. (Slaw can be made a day ahead)
  4. Remove chicken from slow cooker onto a plate. Shred chicken using 2 forks. Drain the juices from the slow cooker and place the chicken back into it. Add 1 cup bbq sauce to the shredded chicken. Toss to coat.
  5. Serve the bbq chicken and slaw on toasted slider buns with extra bbq sauce and jalapenos. Enjoy.

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