No matter what time of the year it is, a chicken dish is a staple for many families. Arguably the most popular part of a chicken, the breast is the leanest part. However, many will also argue that the thighs are the tastiest, most tender meat from the chicken. According to Owner and Chef Antwon Brinson of Culinary Concepts in Charlottesville, either piece of meat will work well in this Blackberry Chicken Recipe.

Blackberries can add a touch of sweetness to your chicken dinner. This delicious, slightly sweet, slightly tangy blackberry glaze is a great way to do just that. You can also substitute in boneless chicken thighs, but note that they will not look the same as the bone-in, skin-on things, as the blackberry glaze clings to them differently.

Over the years, I have developed a passion for helping our youth by giving them support and guidance, through the disciplines practiced in the kitchen every day.

After traveling the world for 15 years, absorbing knowledge from cultures, cuisines and history, Brinson wanted his passion of helping others learn the ways in a kitchen to take root in Charlottesville. At Culinary Concepts, Brinson offers in-person and virtual classes on everything from knife mastery to pasta.

This savory, Ethiopian-inspired roast chicken recipe of his is filled with a mix of sweet and savory flavors that have an adventurous note thanks to the yellow curry. Don’t fear the heat though, because this type of curry powder is not particularly spicy. Paired with wilted kale and curried sweet potatoes, this chicken dish is a sure way to spice up your weekly menu.

Chicken thighs on a platter

Blackberry Chicken Recipe

Chef Antwon Brinson
This savory Ethiopian-inspired roast chicken recipe is filled with a mix of sweet and savory flavors that have an adventurous note thanks to the yellow curry. Don't fear the heat though, because this type of curry powder is not particularly spicy.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4


Blackberry Glaze

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp butter 

Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp water

Curried Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 tbsp yellow curry
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted) 

Wilted Kale

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 lemon (juice + zest) 


  • 4 chicken thighs or breast 
  • salt & pepper to taste


Sweet Potatoes

  • To cook your sweet potato, you have the option of cooking using the microwave or the oven. See both techniques below:
    Wash and peel sweet potatoes.
    Slice diagonally into ¼” thick medallions.
    Place potato slices in a single layer on a microwave-proof dish.
    Add water and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then microwave on high for 5 minutes.
    Sweet potatoes should barely be fork tender.
    If not yet tender, microwave for an additional minute.
    Remove from the microwave, and carefully remove plastic wrap.
    Place potato slices on paper towels to dry.
  • Alternative – Oven method:
    Preheat oven to 375°.
    Wash potato and place on a baking tray.
    Place in the oven and allow to cook for 30–45 minutes, or until tender. 
    Remove and check. Sweet potatoes should barely be fork tender. Reserve.  


  • Using a medium-size pot, add water, sugar, vinegar and blackberries.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and allow to cook out for 5–8 minutes until the berries become slightly thick. 
  • Remove from heat and reserve.


  • Using a sauté pan, preheat on medium and add olive oil. 
  • Season your chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Add the chicken skin-side down onto the pan. 
  • Allow chicken to cook for 8–12 minutes, or until skin becomes crispy.
  • Flip chicken over and add blackberry sauce to the pan with 1/4 cup stock.
  • Place in the oven for 8–10 minutes to finish cooking. 
  • Remove from oven. At this point, the sauce should be reduced.
  • Using a spoon, baste the chicken with the sauce. Remove and reserve. 

Sweet Potatoes

  • Using a sauté pan, preheat on medium heat and add olive oil.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, allowing them to caramelize on high heat for about 3–5 minutes.
  • Add the curry powder, ginger and garlic. Allow to cook out for 2–3 minutes.
  • Add brown sugar and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the thyme and butter, allow the butter to slightly brown and then reduce heat.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Reserve.


  • Using a sauté pan, preheat on medium heat and add olive oil.
  • Add the garlic, allowing it to cook until golden brown.
  • Turn off heat and add kale. Mix well with garlic.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Finish with lemon juice.

Tips for Pairing Wine with Blackberry Chicken

Looking for a wine pairing? We’re particularly fond of a red wine pairing with blackberries. The oaky mouthfeel and black cherry and blackberry notes of a Cabernet Sauvignon pair exceptionally well with the sweet blackberry glaze on the chicken. A light- to medium-bodied, fruit-forward Pinot Noir would also pair well with this dish.

We hope you’ll try this Blackberry Chicken Recipe soon. Want even more inspiration for your table? For other local recipes, see our Food & Drink page. ~

CEO and Chef ANTWON BRINSON of Culinary Concepts in Charlottesville uses his 15+ years of experience and travels to create a positive change within our community through culinary arts and his online cooking classes. We’re so excited to offer our early supporters of our Wine & Country Table crowdfund an exclusive online cooking experience with Chef Antwon!

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