Grilled Chicken with Chiptole Peach BBQ Sauce

{a spicy peach}

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Who doesn’t love a sweet, juicy peach during the summer?  Seriously, if you don’t like peaches I am curious as to why not?  I get pretty excited the first time I see the stocked peaches at the grocery store.  Chase loves peaches, he would eat 10 in one sitting if we let him.  They are frequent visitors on our dinner plates (and breakfast and snacks for me) during the summer.  A fresh cut up peach stirred into some yogurt with a bit of granola – such a yummy (and healthy!) breakfast.

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What’s in a peach?

For a medium peach, there is about 60 calories.  These delicious gems contain a dose of vitamin c, potassium and vitamin A.  If you need a bit more fiber in your diet, grab a peach!  Nutrients in peaches aid in inflammation and help lower your cholesterol.  Careful however, because they do contain sugar, but it nature’s sugar so no added crap here.  The peach is actually from the rose family, originating from China.  China & Italy are the top peach growers.  Be careful not to eat that pit though!  They are poisonous, but if you dry it out on the counter then put it in the fridge for a bit, plant it and you could maybe have yourself a little peach tree!  You will have to move south to keep it growing and if you are lucky it may sprout.

So there’s a bit of peach info for you, now onto the recipe!

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I love incorporating peaches into different recipes, their unique flavor is subtle, yet noticeable.  In addition, they add the perfect amount of sweetness to a recipe.  Two summers ago, Chase and I grilled some chicken and topped it with a peach salsa of sorts.  We left it raw and it was a refreshing touch to the smokey chicken.

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This time around, I wanted to combine it with the smokey and spiciness of chipotle peppers.  If you aren’t a big spicy food fan, this isn’t quite your recipe, but there’s an easy switch!  Just eliminate the chipotle pepper :)  The peaches are cooked on the stove until melted, their natural sugars completely exposed.  A quick pulse in a food processor and this meal’s star is ready.  Definitely another Dinner in 20!  I hope you enjoy my perfect summer BBQ recipe!

grilled chicken with chipotle peach bbq sauce

Recipe by:  Sara
Prep Time:  2 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 20 minutes   |||   Servings: 4   |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
1 small shallot, minced
2-3 medium sized peaches, diced
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup prepared BBQ sauce [Sweet Baby Rays]
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper & 1 tsp of the adobo sauce
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
salt & pepper

Directions:
1.  Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.
2.  In a small pot, add the garlic and shallots.  Cook for about 2 minutes.
3.  Add the peaches, ketchup, BBQ sauce, lemon juice, and chipotle peppers + adobo.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.
4.  Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the peaches have completely softened.
5.  Remove from heat and pour contents into a food processor.  Add the cilantro.
6.  Pulse until completely smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.
7.  Using a brush to paint the BBQ sauce onto the chicken breasts.
8.  Heat a grill over medium-high heat.  Place the chicken on the grill, not directly over the heat.
9.  Cook on each side about 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness.  Paint a bit more BBQ sauce on each time you flip the chicken.
10.  Cut into slices and serve with additional sauce.

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Enjoy!

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Simple Herb & Garlic Chicken Kabobs

{summertime lovin’}

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If you read my dough bites post from Friday, you are aware that I made some kabobs on the grill.  When I first bought the chicken breasts at Kroger my intention was to roast the chicken slowly in the oven.  However, Chase suggested making kabobs since it was going to be beautiful outside.

We love eating kabobs at our house.  The best part is that we put whatever we like on our individual skewers.  I have made many a kabob – beef, shrimp, chicken veggies – with many a marinade – teriyaki, orange ginger, peppered.  This marinade I am sharing today is so very simple with a ton of flavor.  It was perfect for a spring meal and the flavor was not lost during grill time.

I didn’t prepare these kabobs ahead of time, but if you prepare them in the morning before work/school it makes dinner time much faster.  The time consuming part of kabob night definitely is the skewering part.  Have time at night?  Prepare the chicken in the morning and let it sit in the marinade all day.  Longer sit time = bolder flavor.

On the grill

On the grill

We used our propane grill and the kabobs took about 15 minutes to cook through.  We attempted to use this potato express to make baked potatoes to go with the kabobs.  Do NOT buy this dumb product.  It does not work.  After we were all finished with our kabobs, the potatoes were finally ready.  So that definitely was a kitchen failure.  It didn’t matter because the kabobs and asparagus were delicious enough!

The night concluded with dinner on the balcony and homemade ice cream sundaes.  We kicked off the summertime season with kabobs, outside dinner, and ice cream.  What do you cook when the weather is beautiful?

Simple Herb & Garlic Chicken Kabobs

Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  15 minutes   |||   Cook TIme:  15 minutes   |||   Servings: 3-4   |||   Difficult Level:  Low

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into large chunks
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp fresh herbs [I used a combination of sage, thyme, and rosemary]
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Veggie/Fruit for the skewers [I used cherry tomatoes, pineapple, green pepper, and mushrooms]
salt and pepper

Directions
1.  In a bowl, combine the olive, herbs, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.
2.  Add the chicken and stir to thoroughly cover with the seasoning.  Let sit for 30 minutes – 8 hours
3.  Chop your vegetables as needed.
4.  Skewer the chicken and veggies onto wooden or metal skewers.
5.  Heat grill to medium heat and place chicken kabobs directly over flame.
6.  Turn often and cook for about 15 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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Thai Chicken Skillet Pizza

{Thai meets Pizza}

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I was still hanging out on the organic band wagon with this delicious double spin on pizza.  Not only did I make it into an Asian dish, but I used my new cast iron skillet (thanks, Chuck Meyer) that I got for Christmas.  I used mostly organic ingredients.

The organic chicken I used was delicious.  It was so tender and moist even after cooking it on the stove and then again in the oven.  I was a little skeptical on how this recipe would turn out due to the odd combination.  However, it was so unique and tasty.

Cooked & sliced chicken

Cooked & sliced chicken

For the pizza dough, I opted to use bread flour instead of all purpose.  The bread flour gives the crust a chewier, a bit more airy texture.  Think deep dish pizza.  I don’t know the science behind it, but there was that moistness when bitten.  I definitely liked this version of the dough for this unique pizza.  If you want more of a classic crust, stick with all purpose flour and it will be a bit more dense.

The little bit of curry powder on the chicken gives it a wonderful aroma and delicious Thai flavor.  For the sauce, I used a combination of red curry paste, which has a very mild curry flavor, and soy sauce.  The sauce will sink in the crust while baking amplifying the tastes of Thai cooking.

Curry Sauce

Curry Sauce

This recipe requires a bit of work so if you are looking for a unique, but fast pizza recipe this isn’t the one.  If you are in the mood to experiment in the kitchen to ease some stress, then now we are talking.  There are a few steps in order to get to the end result.  The list of ingredients are all easily found in any basic grocery store so don’t be intimidated either – and try to buy organic when possible.

Crust Close up

So if you’re feeling adventurous and in the mood for a spicy twist on the classic ‘za give this one a whirl.

Thai chicken skillet pizza

Recipe by: Sara
Hands on Time:  45 minutes   ///   Cook Time:  1 hour   ///   Servings:  4   ///   Oven Temp:  500 degrees

Ingredients:

For the dough **makes 2 crusts
2 3/4 cup bread flour
1 packet of yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees)
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of white sugar
1/2 tsp salt

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced carrots
1/4 tsp sesame oil

For the pizza:
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 chicken breast
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, sliced
1 carrot, shaved
1 lime
sesame oil

Directions [see below for step-by-step pictures]
1.  Combine the yeast with the warm water in a measuring cup and gently stir.
2.  Add a small pinch of white sugar and let sit for about 10 minutes.
3.  In a kitchen mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, garlic powder, and salt.
4.  Slowly add in the water & yeast mixture.
5.  Mix on medium speed until a ball forms then mix an additional 2 minutes.
6.  Place dough ball into a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
7.  Let sit in a warm spot for at least 30 minutes.  Make sure the dough has risen.

While the dough rises:
8.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and stir until smooth.
9.  Mix together the soy sauce and curry powder [listed in pizza ingredient section] and pour over the chicken breast.
10.  Grill the chicken on the stove for about 5 minutes each side.
11.  Remove from heat and then slice.  The chicken may not be thoroughly cooked through and that’s OK!

After the dough has risen:
12.  Punch down the dough and remove from the bowl.
13.  Divide into 2 equal pieces.  Place one in fridge or freezer for another time.
14.  Heat the cast iron skillet over medium heat with the peanut oil.
15.   Gently push the dough into the skillet, making sure to push a bit up the edges.
16.  Use a fork to poke the dough which will allow steam to escape.
17.  Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until bubbles start to form.
18.  Smear sauce over the dough.
19.  Top with chicken and green onions.
20.  Bake in oven at 500 degrees for about 12 minutes.
21.  Top with cheddar cheddar and broil for 30 seconds.
22.  Remove from oven and top with shaved carrots and cilantro.
23.  Dip a piece of paper towel into the sesame oil and coat the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.
24.  Squeeze with a bit of lime.
25.  Serve drizzled with a bit more soy sauce and Sriracha sauce, if desired.

Thai Chicken Pizza

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Taco Chicken Chili

{crockpot goodness}

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My trusty crockpot strikes again!  Seriously, love the crockpot… maybe I should marry it [my sister & I used to say this all the time when we were little].  This is probably one of the easiest crockpot recipes around.  They are all pretty easy actually, but this one tastes amazing too.  If you know how to use a can opener then this is your recipe.

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Is anyone else completely sick of this cold weather?  I tolerated the Polar Vortex and the blizzard, but now it is time for spring.  The thing I don’t mind is brewing up some delicious vats of chili or soups to ward off the chill, however.  Sunday was yet another frigid, stay under a blanket inside all day kinda day.  So I threw my chili ingredients together in the morning and Bryan & I enjoyed a bowl of it for dinner.

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This dish is also great to make for a large group of people.  It is super easy and is really filling.  Serve it with some homemade cornbread or chips & salsa.  The Superbowl is right around the corner & this is sure to please rowdy football fans.  I hope you enjoy it & stay warm out there, people!

Taco Chicken Chili
slightly adapted from Skinnytaste

Hands-on Time:  5 minutes   ///   Cook Time: 8 hours   ///   Servings:  6-8

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with chilis
1 can diced tomatoes **can use two with chilis if you want more spice**
1 packet taco seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup water
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Sour cream, Cheddar cheese, crackers [for toppings]

Directions
1.  Turn crock pot onto the 8 hour level.  Add onion, beans, tomatoes, beans, water and seasonings together & stir.
2.  Place the chicken breasts over the mixture.  Cover with lid.
3.  An hour before serving remove the chicken and use two forks to shred the chicken.  Place it back into the chili and stir.
4.  Add the corn and cilantro.
5.  Serve piping hot with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of shredded cheese.

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xoxosara

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Pretzel Chicken ::: Recipe Fail

IMG_3202Before I post on the blog, I do my fair share of research for each recipe to maximize my results.  I want to post delicious recipes that need no adjustments.  This recipe was no exception.  For a few days, I looked at different recipes, came up with my own twists, and thought I had myself a unique and easy chicken dish.  However, when we sat down for dinner (that smelled amazing) we were all a bit disappointed.

I started by making a honey mustard sauce to coat the chicken.  I used store-bought honey mustard which I think is mistake #1.  I combined honey mustard, white vinegar, touch of oil, and water together in a food processor.  I think poured this mixture over the chicken.

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I let it sit for about 10 minutes then I used my two fingers to draw off as much of the sauce as possible.  Then the chicken breast was dunked into 4 cups of crushed pretzels and placed into a roasting pan.

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I baked the chicken until it was done [well, two were done and Bryan’s was not and he never told me he was eating raw chicken!!! poor thing]

The presentation looked beautiful and like I said it smelled lovely too.  However, it just wasn’t what I expected.  Below, I have listed my pros and cons and my “next time changes”.  Do you have some advice for Not So Doughie?  Leave a comment on this post for me!  I really want this recipe to work out as it sounds amazing, right?

I am going to try to link-up with some other food bloggers to maybe start a “Recipe Fail Friday” where we post our failures and can suggest ways to make it better.

THE NEGATIVES
The honey mustard used in place of the egg made the chicken a bit too sweet.
The chicken came out dry.
The pretzel taste was too overpowering.

THE POSITIVES
The pretzel coating actually stuck to the chicken.
It had a very nice crunch to it.

NEXT TIME CHANGES
Use a flour and egg dredging process instead of the honey mustard sauce. [flour, egg, pretzel mixture].
Use a mixture of pretzels and panko bread crumbs instead of just pretzels.
Pulse the pretzels in the food processor to fine crumbs.
Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce.
Make my own honey mustard.

I was hesitant to post this failure because like I said, I want to show my readers great recipes to try.  However, I am only human and failure happens.  I look forward to your advice!

Are you a food blogger and have failures in the kitchen?  I am thinking about creating a “Recipe Failure Friday” Link-Up where we post pictures and a description of our failed recipes and others can post advice for improvement.  If you are interested in co-hosting a link-up like this with me, send me an email here.

Until next time,

xoxosara

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Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

{a lucky pot}

When I started my job in the pharmacy I really liked how we had potlucks often to celebrate holidays, birthdays and achievements.  However, 1 & 1/2 years later I am starting to get a bit over them.  We seem to have them quite often and it can start to hurt my wallet.  I know I don’t HAVE to, but I always bring something delicious to share with my coworkers.  This was our second potluck in about a month and I was pretty creative for the last one {check out my Chicken & Waffle Bites Recipe}.  I wasn’t really in the mood to come up with an idea, get ingredients and make it after a long day at work and an intense workout class at Nth Degree.

Well, my idea of grabbing cheese and crackers for the potluck didn’t last long.  My coworker came to my desk and said “Sara, what are you making? I can’t wait because everything you make is so good and healthy too.”  Oftentimes, our potlucks are way doughie so I try to bring something not so doughie to fill my plate.  I told her I wasn’t feeling up for cooking and was going to just be like most of my coworkers and grab something at the store.  She said she would be willing to come up with an idea with me that we each could contribute to the dish.  I first thought a dip or maybe some snacks with a theme, but she suggested something more “food”.  I looked through a few of my blogspiration ideas and decided to go with a lettuce wrap.

It started with the idea to copy PF Changs Asian lettuce wraps then a taco lettuce wrap and finally I settled on a Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wrap.  Nicole offered to bring the toppings (blue cheese, Ranch dressing, tomatoes, onions).  I was in charge of making the tasty chicken and lettuce.  I have made shredded buffalo chicken sandwiches for my family before and they always seemed to come out dry and one-dimensional.  I guess I hadn’t figured out the ideal way to cook the chicken yet.  Until now.  These wraps were delicious!  My coworkers (once again) enjoyed my dish and I told Bryan to expect these for dinner sometime soon.  The chicken was so juicy, the flavor perfectly spicy, and the wrap is pretty healthy (and cheap too!).

So here I am once again, not upset I went through the “hassle” of making something to bring to the potluck.  I know I complained (to my coworker about bringing something and the beginning of this post), but in the end I love cooking and the greatest joy of it is seeing people gobble it up.  I received several compliments on the wraps and I really appreciate all the kind words from my coworkers about my food.  When the next potluck rolls around I hope to remember this post and the feeling I get when people get all excited about what Sara is bringing to the potluck.  My lesson:  count my blessings.  I am so happy to know how to cook and cook pretty well :)  I plan to continue to make my dishes for potlucks simply out of happiness.

BClettucewraps

{Click here for the recipe}

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Chicken Competition

{Iron Chef:  Not So Doughie style}

I love to cook.  Did you all know that???  If you didn’t, ummm you are dumb.  Anywho – I love to cook so much and I love getting Chase & Bryan involved.  Mommy bloggers & food experts say the best way to get your kid to eat healthy is to cook with them.  I agree with this, but I also believe cooking is a skill that everyone should have in their pocket.  Not everyone needs to know how to cook some foo-foo Top Chef creation, but knowledge on the basics and how to train yourself to be creative in the kitchen.

I like involving Chase in meal preparation – I do the meal planning as the menu would be rather repetitive if Chase did this part.  When he is is at home and a family dinner is on the schedule, I try to make things that I know he will like and at the same time advancing his palate.  If you have children, I strongly suggest cooking with them.  Have them learn the basic skills such as how to properly hold a knife, how much salt and pepper is “enough”, how to turn on the oven & practice safe cooking, proper handling of raw poultry etc.  There are so many fundamentals that a child can easily learn, but they will only know if you involve them in the process!

A few months ago, I think it was Father’s Day actually, we decided to host our own little Iron Chef.  The secret ingredient was picked – burgers – and we researched our recipes then headed to Kroger to buy our goods.  We had a great time together in the kitchen making our burgers and then we judged each others and voted on the best.  Now mind you, we let Chase choose his own recipe, but we give guidance and teach him the proper steps to make a burger.  Although his creation may not be the tastiest, he is still learning the fundamental kitchen skills by having fun.

Last night, I decided it would be fun to host another Iron Chef using chicken.  This time, we didn’t go to the store and we just used ingredients on hand in the kitchen.  I watched Chase rummage through the cupboards trying to decide what to make.  He pulled out manicotti shells and he said he was going to use them, but didn’t know what yet.  I gave some guidance and taught him about how they can be stuffed.  On his own, he decided he was going to make chicken stuffed manicotti with alfredo (Prego) sauce topped with sliced tomatoes.  Not necessarily home-made, but for an 8 year old it was impressive.  Bryan and I led him through steps to getting his meal together and reminded him how to hold his knife, what seasonings go well with manicotti etc…  He loves doing activities like these and Bryan & I do too!

We all prepared our individual meals and then it was tasting time!  Bryan made a Paprika Spiced Fried Chicken & I made BBQ chicken pizzas.  All three dishes were tasted and judged and voted.  I’ll be darned if Chase did not win the competition ;-)  Again, it isn’t about the actual taste or who wins, but teaching Chase (and Bryan) how to cook and most importantly spending  quality time together as a family in the kitchen.

We plan to have another competition within the next month.  Chase decided the secret ingredient would be pasta.  However, I want to extend the idea out to my readers.  What do you suggest our secret ingredient be for our next Iron Chef competition?  Reply to this post with your idea (reply button at top).  Before our next competition, we will pull one of your suggestions out of a hat!  A special shout out to the chosen suggestion will be featured in the post.  So what should it be??

Check out the pictures from our competition!

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xoxosara

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