Contrary to popular belief, I do not make everything from scratch. Today you are going to see that I am just as normal as anyone else and use prepared convenience foods too. But I do look for organic ingredients, cane sugar, gluten-free, etc. and try to make as healthy a choice as possible.
Barbecue sauce is one of my favorite condiments, but most store-bought sauces have two ingredients that knocked them off my shelf for years. The Artist is allergic to artificial smoke, which is in virtually every single barbecue-style ingredient and gluten-containing ingredients lurk behind innocuous additions.
Thanks to this year’s Fancy Foods Show, I discovered that all of Stubb’s sauces, rubs and marinades are gluten-free! The kind folks there sent me a box filled with their products to try and believe me, they will get lots of use as I am cooking in preparation for my monthly Char-Broil articles!
Yesterday The Artist and I got to work on assembling our new Char-Broil Tru-Infrared grill. (Thank you Char-Broil!) We got most of the assembly done, but we still needed to go out and buy a new propane tank and The Artist was starving so I looked for another way of cooking the chicken I had planned for dinner. Stubb’s to the rescue.
I did a quick pan sear on the stove to seal in the juices, added some Stubb’s BBQ sauce and water, and then finished the chicken in the oven. The gentle heat of the oven allows the center to finish cooking without the outside becoming dry and tough, especially for thick cuts of meat. The chicken breasts I had were at least 2-inches thick, so utilizing the oven helps keep them tender and moist.
You can also make this entire meal on a grill, utilizing a pan that can withstand the heat and setting up an indirect fire. Keeping the lid closed mimics the oven and helps with tenderness and moistness in the same way.
Adding water to thin out the barbecue sauce helped The Artist by mellowing the smoke flavoring and making it easier for his stomach to digest. It also combined with the chicken’s juices for a delectable pan sauce that I drizzled over the top.
All you need to add is a tossed green salad and some baked beans and you have the flavors of summertime in the middle of winter!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Whenever I use a skillet in the oven, I always drape a towel or hot pad over the handle once I remove it from the oven. This keeps me from accidentally grabbing the hot handle and burning myself – or worse yet, another family member who doesn’t know it was in the oven.
Make sure the seasonings and sauces you use are gluten-free. Most proteins are naturally gluten-free, but if they have been injected with fillers, those may have been gluten-contaminated.
Kitchen Skill: How to Take Food’s Temperature
With large roasts or whole poultry, it is easy to insert an instant read thermometer and know when it has reached the optimum temperature. But when you are working with chops, steaks or smaller pieces, it can seem nearly impossible. The secret is tongs.
Use tongs to pick up the steak or chop, turn it so the side is exposed and insert the thermometer into the center being careful not to touch any bone or pockets of fat. This will give you the most accurate reading.
- 2 tbsp organic olive oil
- 4 thick boneless chicken breast halves
- Your favorite prepared barbecue sauce or homemade version
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In an ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken, skin-side down and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook without moving until golden brown, about 4 minutes, or until the meat releases from the pan naturally. If it is sticking, leave it alone and continue cooking. Use tongs to flip the breasts to the second side.
- Pour some of the barbecue sauce over the top of each breast and continue cooking until golden on the second side. Flip them again, coat the second side with more sauce, and add about 1/4 cup of water to the pan, swirling it to blend with the sauce in the bottom. The water helps keep the sauce from burning while cooking and provides the base for a lovely pan sauce.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for about 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken), flip it to the other side and finish baking until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°F.
- Set the chicken aside to rest for 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to warmed serving plates and pour a little of the pan sauce over each piece. Serve immediately.
Create a New Tradition Today!
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