Thursday, July 9, 2009

Barbecue Bacon Chicken Breasts

I've been caught up in summertime busyness, and I've gotten behind on my CSA posts. Stay tuned, pictures and recipes will be coming forth soon!

But today, I want to to write about our supper of chicken, farm-fresh corn on the cob, and sweet, ripe cantaloupe. The chicken was easy and combined two of my favorite things: bacon and my homemade barbecue sauce. I start with the sauce, like so:

Not-So-Secret Sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder (I use Penzey's "regular")
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat, add onion and cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients, stirring well. Use on ribs, pork, chicken, peanut butter sandwiches, ice cream, you name it, it will change your world.

But for weeknights, try it like so:

3 slices bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
three or more chicken breasts, boneless if you want to cook fast, avec bone if you have time on your hands
chicken broth or water
salt and pepper

1. In a nonstick skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to drain and pour out all but a tablespoon or so of bacon grease. (Remember what your daddy told you and be responsible with the bacon grease, do not pour it down the sink!)

2. Season the chicken breasts and saute in bacon fat until brown on both sides. Pour a cup or so of barbecue sauce into and around the chicken. Bring to a simmer and cover skillet. If liquid looks skimpy, add about a cup of water or chicken broth. Continue to cook over medium heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes. You can also put the covered pan in the oven at 300 for up to an hour (be sure to check on the liquid level throughout the cocooning time).

3. Before serving, sprinkle the bacon pieces on the chicken breasts. I think some shredded cheese might be nice too, Monterey Jack or Cheddar, kind of a BBQ riff on chicken parm.

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