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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken

After yesterday's post, I just had to follow up with a great way to use the amazing barbecue sauce, so I'm sharing with you a simple recipe for slow cooked BBQ chicken.  I love making dinners in my slow cooker!  I can just throw the ingredients in and forget about it, and it always results in tender, juicy chicken.  Of course, with this sauce, you really can't go wrong!

This recipe requires very few ingredients.  Just onions, chicken, and the barbecue sauce.  The barbecue sauce lends so many flavors to the dish, you really don't need much else.  Served with a side of corn bread, this was the perfect meal for a relaxing night in.

Slow Cooked BBQ Chicken

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Layer the onions in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Place chicken on top of onions.  Pour barbecue sauce over the chicken.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the chicken is fork-tender and the sauce has slightly thickened, about 5-6 hours.  

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Best Barbecue Sauce

I've never been a huge health nut, and luckily, have never had to care about my weight, but I still have concerns about eating right, simply for my own health and wellness.  When I shop for groceries, I like to look at the labels and make sure the products I'm buying do not have two things:  MSG or high fructose corn syrup.  Sounds simple enough...right?  

No!  Because high fructose corn syrup is in literally everything nowadays--salad dressing, juice, bread, cereal, and sauces, just to name a few.  So, whenever I can, I prefer to make these types of things from scratch.  Not only is it healthier, since I know exactly what I'm putting into it, but it tastes better and fresher too.  

This particular barbecue sauce recipe I found from Mel's Kitchen Cafe definitely lives up to its name. It is, by far, the best barbecue sauce I've ever had!  It's not terribly complicated to make, and the best part is, this sauce freezes very well.  You could double the recipe and freeze the leftovers in a freezer-safe container of Ziploc freezer bag for another use.  

The Best Barbecue Sauce

Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Yield:  about 7 cups of sauce

2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
4 tsp hickory flavored liquid smoke
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together all the wet ingredients and then add the seasonings.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The sauce will thicken as it simmers (and as it cools).  Ideally, plan ahead and allow the mixture to simmer for about an hour.  Use the sauce to brush onto meats the last 10 minutes of grilling, or use in any other recipe where barbecue sauce is used.

Once cooled, the sauce can be frozen or stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.  If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator and use as needed.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coming up on The Beachside Baker...

I'm baaaaack!  Finally, my school semester is over, the Christmas madness has finally come to an end, my company started its winter shutdown, and I can start posting some recipes!  Although it may have been quiet here on the blog this past month, I've been really busy in the kitchen!  I'm excited to share some new things with you.  Here's a sneak peek of what I'll be sharing in the next few weeks:

The BEST barbecue sauce, which will be an important ingredient for...

Slow Cooked Barbecue Chicken

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas (a favorite in our house)

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Mom's Famous Rice Stuffing (AKA Bacon Rice!)
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
Scandinavian Almond Bars

Lemon Cupcakes

Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes

Can't wait to share them all with you!  Check back tomorrow for a new post!