Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday: Tasty BBQ Chicken & Zucchini over Whole-Wheat Spaghetti Haystacks

I don't know what the weather has been like in your area, but here in the Sacramento area, it has been HOT, HOT, HOT! It's a pain to wear contact lenses, since every time I walk out the door I feel like they are going to permanently stick to my eyes. I don't like to turn on my oven or stove during these heat waves, so I usually revert to a cold item (like salad) or we fire up the BBQ.
This is definitely my "go-to" recipe for BBQ chicken. The flavors are absolutely AMAZING and I usually have these ingredients on hand, just in case I get a hankering to throw something on the BBQ. You can easily use this marinade on ribs or pork chops to change it up. Also, the recipe calls for bone-in chicken thighs, but to speed the cooking time up a bit, use boneless.  

BBQ Chicken Recipe
Serves: 4 Prep: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 26 minutes
2 TB dark brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 (60 ml) cup ketchup
1 TB brown sugar (I used honey)
1 TB sherry or red wine vinegar
1 TB Dijon mustard
8 (6oz) skinless, bone-in chicken thighs 

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Combine ketchup and next 3 ingredients (through mustard) in another small bowl. Stir with a whisk.
2. Spray grill with grill cooking spray.  (If you don't want to use the BBQ or don't have one, use a grill pan on your stove-top, and cook the same way). Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Rub spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken, cooking 12 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush with half of ketchup mix. Cook for 12 minutes. Turn chicken over. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes. Serve with grilled zucchini slices (I brushed some of the ketchup mixture on them before I added them to the BBQ) and whole-wheat spaghetti.


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Prep both mixes ahead of time and keep in fridge until time of use.
~Slice zucchini ahead of time, and cover in fridge until ready to use.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~Try pork chops or ribs with this marinade. 
~If you like your BBQ a little more spicy, replace the Dijon mustard for hot-spicy mustard.
~Instead of adding salt to the rub, use 1 tsp of soy sauce in the ketchup sauce.
~Replace spaghetti with rice or couscous.


Smoked Paprika 

If you've never tried smoked paprika, consider investing in some. The flavor is incredible. I use it in A LOT of my dishes now (seriously-I'm almost out of the stuff!), and even when the recipe calls for plain paprika, I usually use the smoked, just because it adds so much more flavor to the dish. You can easily find it in your local grocery store in the spice aisle, but you can also purchase it on amazon. 

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