Tag Archives: BBQ

Sweet and Simple

I love trying new things in the kitchen, especially if it’s something I never would have attempted a year ago (I’m going to have so much fun experimenting with my new panini press!). But sometimes, a really simple recipe can give you the same amount of satisfaction. Tonight I decided to make BBQ chicken breasts for dinner. It’s obviously not a difficult dish at all. But I’ve never made it before, and now I have a new (not to mention simple and fast!) dish to add to my rotation.

I never particularly liked BBQ chicken when I was growing up. I don’t know why, but I clearly remember being disappointed anytime I’d ask my mom what was for dinner and she’d say BBQ chicken. But when I was home for Christmas last week, that’s one of the things she made for dinner. And it was delicious! So when I headed to the grocery store today to restock my kitchen after being away for almost 2 weeks, I decided to pick up the necessary ingredients to make BBQ chicken. I sprinkled pepper and a dash of garlic powder on both sides of the chicken breasts and rubbed it in a bit before pouring BBQ sauce over the chicken. I covered the dish and baked the chicken at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Voila, a delicious dinner! I served the chicken with steamed veggies and Alexia sea salt and pepper sweet potato fries.

So the next time you’re looking for something new to make, don’t focus just on adventurous or complicated dishes. Simple can be so great!

XO,
V

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Filed under On the Menu

Crock Pot Virgin

Sorry I forgot to post yesterday! I’m at my parents’ house for the holidays so I’m totally out of my routine. here’s a post I wrote while the blog was on hiatus. Since Brittany recently posted a new crock pot recipe, I thought now was a good time to publish this post.

When I moved into my first apartment two years ago, I bought all the basics: one sauce pan, one skillet, a $5 collander from Walmart, one paring knife, silverware service for four, etc., etc. Over time I’ve slowly collected all the “extras” like: a hand mixer, a blender, prep bowls, more pots and pans, better knives, etc. Some were hand me downs from my mom, some were gifts, and some I bought myself. Unfortunately, the more new things I learn to cook, the more gadgets I find myself wanting. Funny how that works. Well, a few days ago I bought something I’ve been thinking about getting for awhile now and should’ve bought a long time ago!

Well hello, where have you been all my life?!

Walmart was selling this 5 quart Hamilton Beach  Crock pot for a ridiculously good price (and Hamilton beach products are already quite inexpensive for their quality). I passed the display twice over a period of a week, and finally I decided to just buy one and give it a try before they all disappeared. The best thing about this crock pot (besides the fact that it’s red (!) and cooks for you while you’re not home) is that the stoneware crock  and the lid are dishwasher safe. I don’t know about you, but in my book, being dishwasher safe is one of the best qualities a kitchen tool can have. What can I say, I love cooking but I hate the clean up. I used my new crock pot for the first time tonight and it was a success! Such a success that I texted Brittany saying “Why did I wait this long to buy a crock pot?!”

For whatever reason, I’ve been craving BBQ pulled chicken like crazy, so that was the first recipe I decided to try. When I typed that into the Google search bar, this  intriguing recipe for Hawaiian BBQ pulled chicken was one of the results. Of all the recipes I found, this one was my favorite. And I wanted to go by a recipe my first time using the crock pot. So Hawaiian BBQ chicken it was! If, like me, you’ve never used a crock pot before you will be shocked at how easy crock pot recipes are. They put my other easy recipes to shame! Anyway, I followed the original recipe pretty closely, but I’m going to write it out here because I have some notes for you all.

What You Need

Boneless skinless chicken breasts*

1 can pineapple, drained*

Onion to taste, chopped or cut into chunks

BBQ sauce of your choice*

Hamburger buns (optional)

*The recipe called for 2 pounds of chicken which I went ahead and got for the first try. But this made TONS of chicken. And after making it, exact measurements don’t seem very important)

*According to the recipe, the pineapple juice can be added if you like sweeter BBQ. But I found that it was actually quite sweet even without the added juice. Just FYI.

*The recipe calls for an entire bottle of BBQ sauce and says that you can never have too much BBQ sauce. However, my chicken was quite saucy. And despite toasting the hamburger bun, it got soggy faster than I would have liked. I conferred with the cooking Goddess (aka my mom) who said that cutting back on the sauce might help this. After all, you can always add some BBQ sauce after you serve it if you want more

Now for the ridiculously easy directions:

1. place chicken in the bottom of the crock pot then cover with onion and pineapple

2. Pour BBQ sauce over the chicken, onion, and pineapple

3. Cover crock pot and cook on low. The recipe says to cook it on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. I cooked it on low but took it out after 7 hours and it was already fully cooked and falling apart

4. Remove chicken approximately 2 hours before it’s done cooking and shred with a fork (you can actually shred it pretty easily without removing it from the crock)

5. Return shredded chicken to crock pot and stir it back into the sauce. Continue cooking for remaining 2 hours, or until you can’t wait any longer

6. Serve chicken on its own or on a hamburger bun. I added cheese because…Well who doesn’t like cheese?!

This was really good! I scarfed down an entire sandwich plus the steamed veggies I made before eating a second serving of chicken without a bun.

I originally assumed the pineapple and onion were just for flavoring. But I realized as I was trying to serve the chicken that it’s pretty hard not to getting any pineapple chunks or onion mixed in. I ended up really liking it that way. But if chunks of fruit in your BBQ don’t sound like your thing, I recommend buying fresh pineapple and using large slices instead of chunks. The same goes for the onion, cut big chunks if you just want them for the flavor.  I hope you enjoy this! The absolute best parts were coming home to an apartment that smelled like BBQ, and having dinner basically ready to serve whenever I was ready for it!

XO,
V

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Filed under Recipes by Vanessa