Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winner winner chicken dinner

(Rhett introduced me to that expression after beating me at a game of Crazy 8's last week. Apparently it's real. Who else is saying that? And why?)

If you are in fact looking for a winner of a chicken dinner, look no further.  I've got a recipe up my sleeve that will knock your socks off.

It's actually my "oldest" recipe, and by that I mean I've been making it since I was in college. And by THAT I mean this was really the only meal I made if it was a special occasion or called for something other than sandwiches or ramen.

When I got my first apartment in college, my mom got me the standard checkered Better Homes & Gardens cookbook I'm sure you're all familiar with.

(Confession: she might have bought it for me even before college, but the first time I cracked it open was my sophomore year of college).

My sister and I, and our respective roommates, would trade off every Sunday and host dinner at our homes. This was probably the first or second time we did it, and it was my first time to host.  Time to bring out the big guns!

I remember being slightly panicked when I was buying the ingredients for this recipe. I remember being even more panicked when it came to cooking it.  I also recall I served crinkle-cut french fries with it, the kind that you buy frozen in a bag, and bake them in the oven.  Not a vegetable in sight. The epitome of health.

But most of all, I remember how GOOD the chicken tasted, and how tasty the french fries were dipped in the sauce, and how my sister and our friends really enjoyed it. I was probably 19 or 20 at the time, and this was my first real recipe. 

Tonight when I make it, the process will go a lot smoother than the first time.  I'll put the chicken in the oven, and while it cooks, I'll confidently chop and measure and stir, all while trying not to lick the spoon. I'll also make sweet potato fries from scratch, and pair the whole meal with some green beans or asparagus. It will be delicious and nutritious, and I believe I'll enjoy it just as much as the first time.

Oven-Barbequed Chicken (Better Homes and Garden)

  • 2 1/2 - 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks) *I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Easier to cook with and I prefer the taste.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup bottled chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1. Skin chicken. Arrange chicken, bone side up, in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until tender but not brown. Stir in chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, mustard, horseradish, and crushed red pepper; heat through.

3. Turn chicken bone side down. Brush half of the sauce over the chicken. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F for breasts; 180 degrees F for thighs and drumsticks). Reheat remaining sauce; pass with the chicken. Makes 6 servings.

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