How To: Make Your Own – Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

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When we moved from our condo to our new home I was looking forward to many things – one being the ability to barbecue. I dreamt about being able to make and enjoy delicious grilled meats, seafood, and pizza (you haven’t lived until you’ve tried pizza on the bbq).

Almost a year later, and we have yet to even purchase a barbecue. The thing with owning a house is there is always something to do – throw in a new baby and all of life’s other demands and you are left with a beautiful backyard, a freezer full of chicken and fish, but no barbecue. And now it’s almost winter, so what’s the point of buying one now? Cue the tears.

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So here I was, thinking I would have to wait until spring to have my barbecue dreams realized, and then I discovered this recipe. I was flipping through a new cookbook  and the saucy-ness (that’s a word, right?) of this dish just drew me in. Side note – I am trying to utilize my cookbook collection instead of relying on the easy mr. google for inspiring my weekly meal plan.

In the original recipe, the chicken is pan-fried pre-baking to get that bbq like feel. In my never ending quest to try to avoid cleaning as much as possible, I baked it in the oven pre-saucing to the same results.

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You’ll notice in my beautiful picture of the raw bird I originally used a mixture of thighs and breasts. However, I urge you to only make this with the thighs – they get all crispy and sticky on the outside, while still maintaining a juicy interior. If you haven’t been converted to the dark side yet, I hope this recipe helps tip you over.

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Even if you are one of the lucky ones with a barbecue in your backyard, this is the perfect way to keep enjoying all that charred flavour throughout the cold winter looming around the corner. And if you’re like me and and purchasing a barbecue is way down on your list to-do list, a temporary solution is right here!

Dara

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Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

Serves 4-6
Meal type Main Dish
From book Sauce recipe adapted from Lick Your Plate

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 6 bone in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/8 Tsp pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp paprika

Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper

Note

I tried this recipe with both thighs and breasts and found the breasts to be a tad dry. But if you only like the white meat, they would definitely still work - I would just reduce the baking time slightly. The bbq sauce would also be great on baked tofu.

Directions

Sauce
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot over medium-high heat and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside about 1/4-1/2 cup of the sauce to serve with chicken.
Chicken
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with oil, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Rub all over so they are evenly coated.
3. Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and baste with bbq sauce. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove again and brush all over with bbq sauce and bake for another 5 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from oven and brush one more time with bbq sauce and return to oven on the upper rack. Turn oven to broil and cook for about 3 minutes, watching carefully until chicken starts to brown and is cooked through.
5. Serve chicken with the reserved bbq sauce.

How To: Quickie Meal – One Pot Quinoa with Chicken, Vegetables, and Peanut Sauce

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Do you know what I want more than anything in the world?

I want there to be some kind of robot that will just follow me and my two girls around and continuously clean up after us. It seems that my entire day is spent cooking, feeding, and cleaning. And at the end of the night, when all I want to do is put on netflix and binge watch my latest show (any new ones??), I have a high chair covered with the remains of dinner, a kitchen counter covered with whatever snack my 3 year old has chosen before bed, and a kitchen sink filled with dishes.

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So my latest weapon against all this kitchen destruction is the one pot meal. The less pots, the less mess, the more time for netflix.

Enter this one pot quinoa. You have your protein, veg, and grain, all cooked together in one large pot and tossed with a creamy peanut sauce. Okay so you do need a small bowl to mix that sauce up, so we can call it a 1.25 pot meal if you want to get picky.

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This meal is easily customizable for the  whole family – I separated out the edamame and chicken for my daughter who wants everything divided on her plate (typical threenager) and gave her some extra peanut sauce on the side for dipping. As a side note, I find she will generally eat anything if she has a dip – that’s your free tip for the day. My husband and I enjoyed it all mixed together with a squirt of sriracha for some extra heat.

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Until my kitchen and dining room can magically clean themselves, get ready for many more one pot recipes!

Dara

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One Pot Quinoa with Chicken, Vegetables, and Peanut Sauce

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 bag of coleslaw
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 Tsp ginger
  • 2 Cups frozen shelled edamame (thawed)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (chopped)

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp sesame oil

Note

If you wanted to make this a vegetarian dish you could substitute tofu for chicken and cook it the same way, or simply double up on the edamame. Other vegetables, like mushrooms, cauliflower, or zucchini, could be used in place of the red pepper and broccoli. If you like things spicy, top with a squire of sriracha.

Directions

1. Place chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag and add the 2 tbsp of soy sauce and cornstarch. Shake so all the chicken is evenly coated and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium high heat and add canola oil. Stir fry chicken until browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside.
3. Add red pepper and broccoli and stir fry for about 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add coleslaw mixture and continue to cook for another couple minutes. Add ginger, quinoa, and 1 1/2 cups of water and mix to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fully cooked.
4. Fluff with a fork and add edamame and chicken and mix to heat through. Add peanut sauce and cilantro and mix to evenly distribute sauce.

 

 

How To: Quickie Meal – Chicken Meatball Banh Mi Bowls

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We already have a delicious banh mi recipe on the blog.

It’s of the more traditional sandwich variety, but untraditional in that it features tofu instead of meat. If you haven’t made it, you should. This version sticks to the meat, but instead requires a fork for eating rather than your hands. You all know I have a thing for food in bowls.

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img_0943You may look at the recipe and think it has quite a few components – meatballs, quinoa, pickled veg, and a sauce that has me licking my lips just thinking about it. But the reason this meal can still be a weeknight dinner saviour is that many, if not all the components can be made a day or two ahead of time. And even if you have a spur of the moment banh mi craving, it still comes together lickity split – a 35 minute meal for sure.

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One of the best parts about these bowls is if you have some toddlers or babies in your household with discerning palates, they can be deconstructed to fit everyones needs. My husband and I ate them as is, my 3 year old had the meatballs pre-saucing, quinoa, and only the pickled carrots, and my 7 month old ditched the fork and used her hands to shovel some smashed meatball pieces into her mouth.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Dara

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Chicken Meatball Banh Mi Bowls

Serves 4
Meal type Main Dish
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 Pound dark meat ground chicken
  • 1/2 Tbsp chicken broth powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)

Bowls

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar snap peas
  • 1 cup carrots (shaved into ribbons (use a vegetable peeler))
  • 1 cup radishes (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 3/4 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chile paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
  • 1 cup quinoa

Note

The meatballs, quinoa, and pickled vegetable mixture can all be made a day ahead of time. You can use turkey or beef in place of the chicken in the meatballs. Brown rice or barley would make a good substitution for the quinoa.

Directions

Meatballs
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix all ingredients together and form into small balls. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.
Bowls
3. Place quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to low. Simmer for about 12 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Set aside.
4. In another saucepan, bring vinegar, water, and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add carrots and radishes and stir to coat. Let the vegetables sit in the liquid for 20 minutes. Drain and add cilantro and mix to combine. Set aside.
5. In a large skillet over medium heat combine stock, soy sauce, chile paste, and peanut butter. Add meatballs and toss to coat. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until heated through. Remove meatballs and continue to cook sauce uncovered for another 2-3 minutes, until thickened.
6. Divide quinoa evenly among four bowls. Top each bowl with 3-4 meatballs, the pickled vegetable mixture, and additional sauce. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and dig in!

How To: Quickie Meal – Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

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The classic Chinese chicken salad.

The one featured on every chain restaurant menu. It always sounds so good with the supposed crispy noodles and tangy dressing, but then you take a bite and you either have a way too sweet dressing, overcooked bland chicken, or a salt explosion in your mouth.

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This Asian chicken salad has none of the above. Instead you have delicious and flavourful tender chicken pieces, crunchy cashews, loads of fresh and sautéed veggies, and a perfectly balanced, delectable peanut dressing. And just in time for this incredible spring weather we’ve been having. FINALLY! You know I actually got burnt on a walk last Friday?

Not only is this salad about a million times healthier and tastier than the usual restaurant variety, it also comes together in no time at all. Quick enough for a mid week dinner and refined enough for a Saturday night meal.

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I’m normally drawn to that crispy rice noodle and canned mandarin orange salad too – but after one bite of this salad I’ll take my homemade version over the mundane chain variety any day!

Dara

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Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Serves 4
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad
Website Salad adapted from How Sweet Eats and dressing adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas (chopped)
  • 2 red peppers (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut in pieces)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 large or 2 small romaine hearts (chopped)
  • 1 mango (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen edamame beans (defrosted)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated carrots

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1/2-1 Tsp sriracha
  • 3 Tbsp hot water

Note

This salad is extremely customizable - add as much or as little of all the ingredients as you would like. I like a salad with lots of stuff in it so I load it up. You will have extra dressing so save it in the fridge for future salads or use as a dipping sauce for veggies.

Directions

1. Pre-heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add peppers, snap peas, and garlic an mix to coat. Add cashews and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they start to blacken and soften. Remove and set aside.
2. Spray the same skillet with cooking spray and add chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook until just cooked through. Add soy sauce and mix to coat. Remove and set aside.
3. In a large bowl add romaine, carrots, edamame, and mango. Add pepper mixture and chicken and toss. Pour dressing evenly over salad and toss again to coat evenly with dressing.
Dressing
4. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. If you like things a little spicier add some extra sriracha.

How To: Quickie Meal – One Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Brussels Sprouts, and Butternut Squash

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I survived.

I made it through the 8 days of Passover.

8 days of forgoing my usual oatmeal breakfast.

8 days of giving up muffins and granola bars.

8 days of choosing a salad over a sandwich for lunch.

8 days of Matzah pizza.

Well, that last part was okay. And I did it without eating quinoa 27 million times a day. How? With meals like this sheet pan chicken dinner.

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Not only was this meal a Passover dinner hit, it is also an easy and one-pan way to get dinner on the table with minimal fuss or clean up.

I have to confess that I did make it at around 9 in the morning while my babe was taking a nap. To quote one of my friends, I go by the motto “cook while the baby naps.” Also, you never know what the rest of the day will hold, ie. a day where they are refusing to sleep at all and need to be held at all times leaves little time to get dinner ready. So I take advantage of that first nap. But that also meant we were eating this dinner cold, the norm for our dinners these days. So if it was so good cold you can only imagine how good it would taste hot out of the oven! But, that cold dinner also proves this chicken and vegetable bake makes delicious leftovers the next day.

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The roasted lemon slices are key here – the heat from the oven really brings out all that delicious lemon juice that, along with the marinade, really flavours the whole pan. I went with squash and brussels as my veg of choice but you could definitely substitute carrots and broccoli or sweet potatoes and cauliflower.

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As delicious as this chicken dinner is, I think now that I’ve made it through 8 days of no grains, a big plate of pasta is in order! But you all should feast on this one pan chicken meal!

Dara

 

One Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Lemons, Brussels Sprouts, and Butternut Squash

Serves 4-6
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Eating Bird Food

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Cups brussels sprouts (cut in half)
  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 butternut squash (peeled and chopped)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 lemons (1 sliced and 1 juiced)
  • 2 Tsp salt (divided)
  • 1.5 Tsp pepper (divided)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp paprika
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder

Note

This one pan dish is an very easy and flavourful weeknight meal. If you are not a fan of chicken breasts, chicken thighs can easily be substituted. This is also a great way to use up whatever vegetable you have on hand - cauliflower, sweet potatoes, parsnips, broccoli or carrots would all be great in this recipe.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place brussels sprouts, butternut squash, red onion, garlic and lemon slices on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with 2 tbsp olive oil, honey, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss to coat.
2. Place chicken breasts in a zip lock bag. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and remaining 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Stir to combine and pour over chicken breast. Massage bag to evenly coat chicken breasts in marinade.
3. Place chicken breasts atop vegetables and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are soft and browned.
4. Remove from oven and divide vegetables and chicken breasts onto plates and squeeze remaining juice from the lemons overtop.