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healthy grilled barbecue chicken with DIY barbeque sauce

Grilled BBQ Chicken

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe for Grilled BBQ Chicken already!  It’s been almost 2 months since I posted teaser pictures on my Drumstick Party post.  Oops!  Fortunately there is still plenty of summer time left to fire up that grill and enjoy some tasty Grilled BBQ Chicken.

Homemade barbecue sauce is one of the easiest things to make using simple pantry ingredients.  I have several homemade versions that I love.  Each one is a little different and each one has its time and place.  This recipe below is based on the sauce from my Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.  I absolutely love the spice combination in that recipe and thought it would translate nicely to the grill.  We were so pleased with the result, this is now my go-to recipe for any time we want a classic Grilled BBQ Chicken!

Grilled BBQ Chicken
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Cooking spray or oil, for grill
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix ketchup and next 8 ingredients (through cumin) until sauce is combined. Set aside.
  2. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour half of the sauce in the bag, making sure chicken get coated. Put in refrigerator for at least an hour (to overnight).
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Spray the grates with grill cooking spray (or rub with oil), if needed.
  4. Put chicken on grill and discard the bag with marinade. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve with additional sauce, as desired.

Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Shallots

When I started planning for the Drumstick summer celebration from Monday’s post, I decided on the menu immediately and was so excited!  The theme was going to be a Mexican twist on summer barbecue favorites.  It was, until I received the most recent issue of Cooking Light and saw the Cheddar Cheeseburger with Caramelized Shallots.  These looked so good, I shifted the menu to a more traditional barbecue.

These burgers are delicious, garlicky, and combined with the sharp cheddar, caramelized shallots and arugula, all result in one amazing burger!  I prepared the patties the night before, which helped intensify the garlic flavor.  Since we’re working with very lean beef, it is important not to overhandle the beef for the risk of it becoming tough/dry.  Cooking Light shared a helpful tip for working with leaner ground beef: when mixing the garlic and beef, use a [silicone] spatula, instead of your hands, so the heat from your hands won’t melt away the little fat there is.  It worked quite well, and the result was a perfect “lean-er” burger.  I enjoyed mine plain, while Mike and my dad enjoyed theirs with some ketchup.

With grilling season upon us, these Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Shallots are definitely a must-make!

Cheddar Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Shallots
 
Yields: 4 burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef, 92% lean
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 2-3 large shallots)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted (I used onion buns from a local bakery)
  • Ketchup (optional, for topping)
  • Mayonnaise (optional, for topping)
Instructions
  1. Prepare burger: Using a silicone spatula, gently combine beef and garlic. (Be careful not to over-handle meat).
  2. Divide beef into 4 equal portions, shaping into a ½" think patty. Press a small indentation in the center of each burger. Sprinkle evenly with ¼ teaspoon salt. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  3. Caramelize shallots: Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar, cook for an additional minute and the remove from heat. Keep warm.
  4. Grill burger: Preheat grill to medium-high heat. If needed, spray grate with grilling cooking spray or rub with oil. Cook for approximately 3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Top each burger with 2 tablespoons cheese and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese melts.
  5. Assemble: Place ¼ cup arugula on bottom half of bun; top 1 burger and ¼ of the shallots. If desired, spread ketchup or mayonnaise (or desired topping) on top half of buns, and place on top of burgers. Enjoy!

Source:  Cooking Light, June 2012

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Our weather has been all over the place lately. We had a stretch of 80-degree days in March, yet just awe got some snow. It’s all a bit confusing, but we know summer is near.  This has me thinking about summertime eats, which led me to these Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.  These healthy sandwiches taste like a summer barbeque, but can easily be enjoyed all year long.

Inspired from my Chicken Tostada Salad, I decided to poach the chicken breasts and then used 2 forks to shred the chicken. Actually, Mike shredded the chicken while I wiped out the pan and heated up the sauce. At that point, it’s just a matter of minutes until dinner is served.  The original recipe calls for shredded rotisserie chicken, which would be a great time saver (just skip to step 3).  Either way, these Pulled Chicken Sandwiches can be made in less than 30 minutes, making them a great weeknight dinner, or any time!

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • Salt
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (or regular hot sauce), adjust to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 whole wheat buns, toasted
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw (optional, for topping)
Instructions
  1. Put chicken in a large sauce pan and then add enough water to cover the chicken. Add a couple pinches of salt. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Then cover, remove from heat and let sit for 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  2. Put cooked chicken in a separate bowl and, using 2 forks, shred chicken. Wipe out sauce pan to use for sauce.
  3. In sauce pan, whisk the ketchup, mustard, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cumin until combined. Put over medium heat to bring the sauce to a simmer until slightly thickened (about 3 minutes).
  4. Add chicken to the sauce, tossing to coat and to warm up the chicken (about 1 to 2 minutes).
  5. Divide chicken evenly among buns and top with slaw, as desired. Serve immediately.
Notes
For a lighter alternative, use a low-carb tortilla instead of a bun and call it a taco!

Nutrition Info per serving of chicken/sauce
Calories: 200
Fat: 1.2g
Carbs:  21g
Fiber: 0g
Protein:  26.2g

Amounts for your bun or tortilla will be in addition to the above.  The whole wheat bun I used was 160 calories, which was average-sized.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Chicken

Sometimes is pays to be picky.  Or at least to be cooking for picky guests.  I was hosting a summer get together and, by request, was making my “Magic Hamburgers.”  However I knew one of my guests would not eat ground beef, so I was on a two-fold mission: find something delicious that she will like and find something with ingredients I already have.

Enter Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Chicken.  Mission accomplished.

I am so thankful for my picky dinner guest.  If not for her, I would not have found this recipe and my life in the kitchen would not be the same.

In all seriousness, this barbecue sauce is incredible.  I love that it is so easily made from basic ingredients commonly found in the pantry.  The hot sauce, along with the black pepper, add the perfect zing which can be altered to your heat tolerance.  I prefer using chicken tenders, though you can easily adapt this recipe to whatever part of the chicken you like to grill.  It also makes for great barbecue chicken sandwiches.

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Chicken
 
A simple barbecue sauce made with pantry ingredients.
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenders
Instructions
  1. Mix first 6 ingredients in bowl.
  2. Place chicken in ziploc bag. Pour ½ sauce in bag, making sure chicken is well coated. Marinate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Grill chicken as usual, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  4. Serve with remaining barbeque sauce for dipping.

Adapted from Food & Wine