Two weeks ago, I was scouring the interwebs for a simplified Pho recipe, one that I could make in my sickly state and drown my germs in.
I gave up on the thought of cooking as my cold progressed and fought it with Nyquil-induced sleep and fresh from my Mom’s yard lemons coated in olive oil and salt instead.
However, in my travels around the internet, I came across tons of new recipes I wanted to try, so this week, fully recovered, I figured it was time to find some of the links that had me drooling. (Actually, that was probably just the Nyquil cocktail, but, whatever…)
When I stumbled on the Pioneer Woman’s site and eyed her Peach-Whiskey BBQ Chicken, the pictures had me. It was perfect comfort food. Sticky bits of chicken, served with a happy helping of mashed potatoes.
What could be wrong with that?
Of course, as is the case with most things I make, I didn’t exactly stick to the recipe. Recipes are just a suggestion, right?
I enjoyed the end result enough to share it here, so it can’t be all bad.
Get yourself some chicken, legs or thighs (or both).
I started out with chicken legs, rather than thighs, for a very simple reason. It’s what I had thawing in the sink.
One of the things that actually drew me to this recipe was the use of thighs, which are so inexpensive. Seriously, if you are one of those people who only eats chicken breast, you are missing out on flavor and a great deal.
Next time, I will try this with thighs.
Grab a pan that is deep enough for the chicken and sauce, and is heavy duty enough to go into the oven, which you may as well set to 300 F while you are at it.
Heat some coconut oil and butter. I used coconut oil rather than olive because a) it’s good for you and b) it smells amazing when you are cooking. If you have a sensitive palate, you can get a hint of that nutty flavor in your end product, which is great. If you want to give coconut oil a try, I recommend ordering it online in a BIG jar.
Vitacost usually has great prices. Health food and grocery stores don’t.
Once you’ve heated up your oil and butter, take the time to brown the skin of your chicken pieces. Nobody likes working with sad, pasty looking legs.
It’s why I go to the beach.
Ha. I kid. Wear your sunscreen, folks.
While your chicken is browning, chop up an onion. Or, be smart and do it when the stove top isn’t spitting scalding hot oil at you.
Oh, also, beware of the hot butter and oil. I had mine on a wee bit high and, well, it looked like I went to war in there. I have the oil burns on my feet to prove it.
I probably make a good case for special protective gear in the kitchen. Goggles, fire retardant socks, maybe some sort of breastplate.
If I had a fandom, someone would totally be whipping up some killer art of me in some kick-booty kitchen armor. WHERE IS MY FANDOM?!
Nurse your wounds, dress those burns, and take your chicken out of the pan.
Toss the chopped onion in and move ‘em around a bit. Let them get some color, which should only take a few minutes before the next delightful step.
What step is that?
The Whiskey Step!
That sounds like some sort of square dancing move.
Yes, I would know. I took square dancing in fourth grade. I can totally dosey-do and allemande left.
This is what happens when your parents make you move to the South at a young and impressionable age, ya’ll.
But back to the Whiskey! I used what I had, which is NEVER Jack Daniels. Because I’m not a cowboy, I guess. Despite my square dancing skills.
No offense to cowboys. You’re delightful with your wranglers and acreage.
Pour it in with the onions and let it simmer for just a few minutes. You’ll smell the alcohol cooking off. It will help you deal with that burnt foot.
The next step requires BBQ sauce, which is not something I generally have sitting in the pantry, so I ran to the dollar store and grabbed a bottle.
There isn’t a selection of sauces at a dollar store, just one frighteningly non-descript bottle. The Pioneer Woman recipe will tell you to use your favorite sauce, which makes sense, BUT…don’t be afraid of the cheap sauce. Honestly, don’t be afraid of squirting some ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, and sugar in a bowl and calling it good either.
Dollar store sauce was just the quick and cheap option.
Give that a quick stir and then add your jam. The Pioneer Woman uses Peach Preserves, which I’m sure is lovely. But…
…I changed it up a bit here.
Peaches are sweeter than apricots, and while I was excited about trying this recipe, I got the sense that it was going to come out sweeter than I personally like. The recipe also called for a whole jar of jam, and, well, this is the apricot jam I had in the fridge. It’s delicious. And not the cheapest. So the idea of dumping the whole jar in there only to have a super sweet chicken dinner didn’t sit well with me.
Instead, I went with a heaping (and I do mean heaping) large spoon of the stuff.
Once you whisk that jam in, give it a splash of Worcestershire, a bit of water (if your sauce level is looking low), and toss in your chicken bits, cover the pan, and stick it in the oven.
Walk away and get something else done.
Work. Laundry. Super awesome fun-time snowflakes.
Fast forward two hours and check out what you’ve got going. You can probably check it sooner. I actually checked it even later.
All was good.
For a full dinner, make some simple mashed or baked potatoes. Anything that you can soak up some of that extra sauce with.
Oh, and toss whatever is in the veggie drawer together to make a salad. In my case, that was romaine, cukes, and a green apple.
Eat yo’ greens, people.
Stare at the end product. Wonder why your pictures don’t look as beautiful as The Pioneer Woman.
Remember she has windows in her kitchen and natural light is the bestest thing ever.
Drown your windowless kitchen sorrows in Whiskey. Um, Whiskey chicken.
And now, for the measurements. Which, you all know I pretty much don’t do, so keep in mind, these are estimates. Taste while you cook, folks. So much better than those pesky measuring implements and scales.
Unless you’re baking.
Because I didn’t mention it, the end results were really good. Better than I expected. Even the hubs, who is not a fan of overall sweet and saucy loved it.
So, go. Enjoy!