Thursday, September 23, 2010

The BEST BBQ Chicken you will ever have! {Apricot BBQ Chicken}

My love for this recipe is very surprising, even to me, because it contains an ingredient that I'm really not a fan of...apricots. Fruit is not something I typically like in my savory dishes...or at all, really. But, I saw this photo on Pioneer Woman's Cooking page, and I was drawn in immediately.


It looked so beautifully delicious that I didn't really care WHAT was in it, I knew I was going to make it. In fact, it looked SO good to me, that I went out that very minute, bought all the ingredients, and made it for dinner that night. And just like all of PW's recipes, it did not disappoint. In fact, I make this almost once a week, it's that good. This is actually not even one of Ree's own recipes, it comes from her recipe website, Tasty Kitchen, which is one of my favorite resources for great recipes!

I did, however, make some changes in the original recipe. For one, I'm not really a dark meat lover. So, I typically make this with chicken breasts (for me), and thighs (for hubby), rather than drumsticks. Really, you can make this with any cut of chicken. Also, the original recipe calls for the chicken to be baked, but because I am lazy love BBQ'd food so much, we typically grill it. This means a lot more flavor for the chicken, and much less work for me, since The Husband does all the real work.

What makes this recipe really special to me is that you make your own BBQ sauce. From scratch. While this may sound intimidating, it really is just a "dump and mix" kind of recipe, but to me, homemade BBQ sauce is pretty high up on the list of impressive foods. The original title of this recipe is "Hot & Sweet Drumsticks," but since I never make it with drumsticks, and because I don't find them to be particularly spicy, I always just refer to it as Apricot BBQ chicken. Now, typically, I make the sauce in the morning, which takes about 15 minutes, and then marinate the chicken until The Husband comes home to get grillin'. It's probably not necessary to marinate the chicken all day, but I find that making the sauce early makes my evening MUCH easier. You can try whatever way works for your schedule. Also, as with a lot of other recipes, I typically double this one, and save the extra sauce for all kinds of great things like dipping, and even making the recipe again!

Hallelujahs:Impressive, Fast, Easy, Delicious
Hellfires:Can't come up with any!
Printer Friendly Recipe

Apricot BBQ Chicken
1 cup Apricot Preserves
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp minced garlic (I used about 3-4 cloves)
2 tsp hot pepper sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot, or Louisiana brand)
Chicken (whatever cut you like!)

-In a saucepan, place your apricot preserves.
-Then, add the rest of your ingredients.
-Stir all ingredients together with a whisk, and turn on the heat to medium.
-You can see in the above picture that the sauce starts out really thick, and gloppy from the apricot preserves. As you cook, and whisk, it will thin out a little, and get more incorporated. Also, it's really important to whisk this recipe a lot as it cooks, and to not get overzealous on the heat. Burnt apricots will NOT add a good flavor to your sauce.
-The finished sauce:
-Place your chicken, in a large bowl (or Ziploc bag), and then pour enough of the sauce over in order to marinate each piece.
-Save your extra sauce in a tupperware container, for basting, if you're grilling, and for all kinds of great uses later in the week!
-After you've marinated your chicken, you can either grill it, or bake it in the oven at 350* for about 45 minutes!
-Be sure to spend plenty of time bragging about how you made your own BBQ sauce!

Original Recipe can be found HERE

Sunday, September 12, 2010

{Mamal's Sausage Balls} and a new Printer-Friendly Recipe Feature!


Printer-Friendly Recipe

Exciting things have been happening in our house this month. And by exciting, I mean BUSY. My summer classes finally ended Aug 13, and then we left on the 18th for San Francisco for a week. I have PLENTY of San Francisco Treats to post here, and get you guys drooling! The day after we got back from San Francisco, my Mom flew into town, and the following day, Landon started pre-school. Then, on September 1st, my brother, his awesome girlfriend, and my cousin flew into town for a week's visit. On the 4th, we had my sweet girl, Ashlyn's, first birthday party (which was beautiful despite several mishaps, I'll share with you once I can think about them all without breaking down!), and on the 5th, all the grown-ups (minus my Mom who was a FABULOUS babysitter), went to Vegas and Zion National Park for three days. As you can see, I have a PLETHORA of excuses as to why I haven't been posting much the last month or so. But, I am staying home this semester, only taking online classes, and things should be calming down here, pretty soon, leaving me free to inundate you all with some fabulous recipes.

One exciting feature I can't neglect to mention is a new printer-friendly link for the recipes. I figured out how to use Google Documents, and now, under the initial picture, you should see a link for a "printer-friendly version" making it easier for you to print out, and actually make all these fantastic dishes! Right now, I'm trying it out on this post, but if it works the way I hope it does, I'll go back and add it for all the previous recipes as well.

Today, I'm sharing a quickie with you. Not THAT kind of quickie, you sickos. A quick blog post. Since I made these for my daughter's first birthday party, and I was drowning in tasks, and disasters, I didn't have time to take very many pictures. This is a very easy dish to make, and can be served as an appetizer, or a side dish. It's one of my most requested recipes. Oh, and don't be too disappointed in the terrible photos accompanying this blog post. I have talked The Husband into letting me get a new, DSLR camera, and my sweet niece into teaching me how to use it, so better pictures are on the horizon!

Hallelujahs: Simple, delicious, often requested
Hellfires: It does take some time to roll all those little balls

For the Sausage Balls:
2 lbs Mild Ground Sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)
2 Beaten Eggs
1 cup Bread Crumbs (I use the Italian ones, another way to inject even more flavor)
2/3 cup of Milk
1 tsp Sage

-Preheat Oven to 350*
-Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer, fitted with dough hook, or using the best tools that God gave ya (your hands)!
-Shape into 1 inch balls
-Place onto greased cookie sheet
-Bake for 20-25 minutes, being careful not to burn the bottoms.

For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cups Water
3/4 cups Ketchup
8 tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce (keep reading for some details on what kind to choose)
1/4 cup honey

-Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
-When it comes to the BBQ sauce, you want to use a more red, tangy, ketchup-y type of BBQ sauce for this. I prefer the brand Open Pit, which I can't get in Utah, and have shipped to me from my awesome Mom in Ohio, or I pack my suitcase full of it each time I go home. Yes, I just admitted that I pack a suitcase full of BBQ sauce (and other "home foods") everytime I leave Ohio. Just love me the way that I am. If you use a deeper, sweeter BBQ sauce, the honey and brown sugar will leave this recipe almost TOO sweet.
-Bring all ingredients to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
-Simmer 5 minutes
-Add in the baked meatballs
-Stir them around, and then simmer another 4-5 minutes.
-Serve, and Enjoy!