Last night, after almost a week away from the kitchen, I cooked dinner. We had one of little j's favorites: barbecued chicken. There is a really good recipe in a back issue of Cook's Illustrated (one of my very favorite cooking magazines) for oven barbecue chicken. The sauce is simply ketchup, molasses, dijon, maple syrup, cider vinegar, Worcestershire, chili powder, cayenne, and grated onion. The secret to this sauce truly is the grated onion which is cut and then grated with a microplane. It adds the onion flavor without needed too much onion (it calls for 2 tbs.) and also you don't need to puree the sauce once it cooks.
So the chicken is totally straightforward, brown the breasts on both sides, set aside, heat the sauce, add the chicken back to the sauce and coat, put it in a 325 degree oven until temp is 130 degrees, set on broil until chicken reaches 160. Done. It is succulent, juicy with a subtly sweet but tangy sauce.
I served it with a Waldorf salad, one of Big J's favorites, made with apples, toasted walnuts, celery and dried cranberries with a light dressing of mayo, lemon juice, and a pinch of sugar. We also had whipped sweet potatoes. For those I baked the potatoes until soft (baked sweet potatoes are much more flavorful than boiled) and then whipped them with a bit of butter, 1/2 and 1/2, orange juice, orange zest and cinnamon.
Talk about needing portion control! It was one of those simple meals where little j declares, "It's so good I can't stop eating!"