My grandma Mary was a full-of-spunk woman. Pies, salads and fried chicken were constantly produced from her small kitchen, and petite frame. Frequently, her culinary advice to new cooks was,”If you have nothing planned for dinner, just put a skillet of onions and butter on the stove. When your spouse or family comes home the kitchen will smell like you are going to have something magnificent that night.”
Then she’d confess to using the onion tactic a few times herself, and let out her unmistakable, joyous laugh. Taking cues from my lovely, and lively grandma, I started this dish with you guessed it, sautéed onions. They are a great base, along with garlic, for this entire crock pot meal.
Tender, juicy chicken breasts slowly soak up delicious flavors, as the bathe in a hot tub of my sweet bacon barbecue sauce. As mentioned previously, Bacon Barbecue Chicken pairs great with a side of Sausage Stuffed Peppers (Friday’s post).
Dust off those patio chairs and table to serve this meal outdoors on a beautiful, sunny day!
BACON BARBECUE CHICKEN
2 lbs CHICKEN BREASTS, BONELESS, SKINLESS
2 tbsp EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE or CANOLA OIL
1 small ONION, chopped
2 cloves GARLIC, minced
16 CHERRY TOMATOES, (or 1 – 15 oz can crushed)
1/3 cup APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
1/4 cup BROWN SUGAR, DARK
2 tbsp HONEY
3/4 cup KETCHUP
3 tbsp WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
1/4 tsp CHILI POWDER
- 4 slices LEAN TURKEY BACON, cooked, crumbled
- PARSLEY TO GARNISH, optional
1. For the barbecue sauce: saute onion over medium high heat, with a little salt and pepper, in 1 tsp oil for 5-6 minutes until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring not to burn.
2. Puree fresh tomatoes in a little chopper or food processor.
Add tomatoes to the onion, along with honey, vinegar, worchestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, ketchup, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer on low until slightly reduced, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked, crumbled bacon. Taste, and season if needed.
3. In a large skillet, or two, over medium high heat, add oil. When heated add chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, and just sear each side for 3-4 minutes or until browned, doesn’t need to be cook through. Place seared chicken in a crock pot or baking dish and pour BBQ sauce over the top. Add a 1/4-1/3 cup of water to the bottom of baking vessel, if needed. Cover and cook 1 1/2 – 2 hours in slow cooker on high, or 325 degrees in the oven (basting as needed), or 3 – 4 hours on low, or 250 degrees in oven.
(I also served the BBQ chicken and stuffed peppers with a mixture of homemade, regular and sweet potato baked fries. Kind of a healthy twist on a southern bbq meal.)
VARIATIONS: Use other meat like a lean beef roast, cook and shred to make BBQ sandwiches.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (4 oz chicken with about 1/4 cup sauce): 210 calories, 4.5g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 60mg cholesterol, 20g carb, 16g sugar, 25g protein