BBQ Chicken-topped Macaroni & Cheese

What – no new Thanksgiving recipes? With work, soccer, swimming, scouts, work, and more work – my 6 year old has not asked for Chick-fil-A for two months and can pretty much use DoorDash all by herself at this point 🙂 But I got off easy this year – we have been instructed to show […]

BBQ Chicken Topped Mac & Cheese

What – no new Thanksgiving recipes? With work, soccer, swimming, scouts, work, and more work – my 6 year old has not asked for Chick-fil-A for two months and can pretty much use DoorDash all by herself at this point ­čÖé

But I got off easy this year – we have been instructed to show up to a northeast Houston suburb on Thanksgiving Day with Roasted Chesnut & Sausage Dressing, the Broccoli & Rice Casserole (but not the fancy version – the traditional one with it’s scandalously instant, white rice and brick of Velveeta), and booze.

The hardest decision I have to make this year: Cranberry or Pomegranate margaritas.

But we do still eat. And I do still cook. And to back this up, I present to you Exhibit B:

Exhibit A, if you’re wondering, is a cheesy drip down the front of my shirt. Some things, they never change.

We took a trip to Disney World for our 10th anniversary – with kid in-tow, because that’s how we party now – and had a pot roast-topped mac & cheese that was pretty magical for a trio of starving people who were hoarding meal plan credits to blow later in the day the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

It’s as easy as it looks, barely-a-recipe recipe.

1. Whip up your favorite stove top macaroni and cheese recipethis is mine, although for this photo we tried out the Copycat Panera recipe to save you the trouble. If you haven’t tried it already… you can probably take a pass on it. Having eaten it at Panera two days before, it was light on the Copycat.

2. Toss shredded chicken with bbq sauce. I dropped frozen chicken breasts into the Instant Pot for 8 minutes and then delegated auto-shred duties to the mixer – I seriously do not know how the Pilgrims did it.

3. Scoop, top, and dig in.

Honey & Thyme-Glazed Chicken and Apricot Skewers

If you need another excuse to cook dinner on the patio and work in a little more grilled summer fruit into your diet, you’ve come to the right place. I am the enabler’s enabler. One of my very favorite things right now are grilled peaches, plums, and apricots. They work perfectly with a scoop of […]

Grilled Honey-Thyme Chicken and Apricot Skewers

If you need another excuse to cook dinner on the patio and work in a little more grilled summer fruit into your diet, you’ve come to the right place.

I am the enabler’s enabler.

One of my very favorite things right now are grilled peaches, plums, and apricots. They work perfectly with a scoop of ice cream on top and work just as beautifully in savory dishes.

Another current favorite thing is stuffing my face while standing in my PJs at the fig tree in the backyard… but that’s a confession for another day.

Honey & Thyme-Glazed Chicken and Apricot Skewers

Chicken thighs and ripe apricots (or white peaches – those turned out amazing!) are threaded onto skewers and grilled to smokey perfection before being glazed with an herbed honey glaze. The glaze gets the tiniest of kicks from the red pepper. It’s not spicy but without the red pepper, I thought the glaze fell a little flat the first time we made it.

Happy summer grillin’!

Honey & Thyme-Glazed Chicken and Apricot Skewers

Chicken and apricot skewers grilled with a sweet and spicy honey-thyme glaze.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 4 apricots, halved or quartered (depending on size) and pitted
  • 8 long skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes if wooden
  • Olive oil, for brushing

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Mix the honey, thyme, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and black pepper with 1 Tbsp water in a small bowl.
  3. Microwave for 15 seconds, stir, and microwave for another 15 seconds. Set the honey aside to steep.
  4. Lightly spray or brush skewers with oil.
  5. Divide the chicken strips and apricot halves or quarters equally between the skewers.
  6. Lightly spray or brush with oil and place on the grill.
  7. Cook ~4 minutes per side, turning once.
  8. Baste with honey mixture and cook another 1-2 minutes per side, coating with more honey when turning.
  9. Serve drizzled with leftover honey mixture.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Adapted from Food & Wine

Estimated time: 30 minutes

School Night Eats: Skinny Orange Chicken

Quick. Easy. Not horrible for you. Quick. Did I mention it was quick? My favorite “recipe” for orange chicken is one that someone else makes and shows up at my door step in 35-45 minutes with a minimum $15 order. A minimum that I almost always double because the guy on the other end of […]

Skinny Orange Chicken

Quick. Easy. Not horrible for you. Quick.

Did I mention it was quick?

Skinny Orange Chicken

My favorite “recipe” for orange chicken is one that someone else makes and shows up at my door step in 35-45 minutes with a minimum $15 order. A minimum that I almost always double because the guy on the other end of the call has eggrolls and a wonton soup that make a killer lunch the next day. That orange chicken is spicier and more savory than the usual orange chicken. (A feat I know is achieved by adding a bunch of red pepper and extra fat to the usual orange chicken.) (Sooooo worth it.)

My second favorite recipe is not the at-home “so much better than take out” version that involves breading and frying, a million ingredients to make the sauce, and ending with a kitchen that looks like a just spent the day cooking Thanksgiving dinner. And let’s not forget about the bonus morning-after-frying smell that is now permanently embedded in every strand of your hair.

My second favorite recipe is a quickly whipped-up, stripped-down version created out of desperation. It requires a handful of ingredients, leftover chicken, and… that’s it. In minutes, you have a sauce with a bright citrusy punch and a light kick that marries perfectly with chicken and rice.

Skinny Orange Chicken

Semi-pro tip: There are three things you’ll always find in my fridge or freezer: a repurposed wonton soup container of lime juice, frozen rice, and already-cooked chicken breast for “emergencies.” (These days, that seems to basically be every weeknight.) Maybe I’m totally on my game (ha) and planned ahead (all of the LOLs) by cooking a large package of bone-in chicken breasts in the crockpot… or maybe I’ve just hit up Costco and splurged on the package of rotisserie chicken breast.

Skinny Orange Chicken

A healthier alternative to take-out with a fresh, bright sauce that packs a citrusy punch.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 353 | Fat: 6g | Fiber 0g | Protein 40g | Carbs 33g

Ingredients

  • ~1 lb cooked chicken, sliced or shredded
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 small oranges for zest and 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp of fish sauce (optional, I add it if I have it)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup (I use a reduced sugar version)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • Sliced green onions, for topping.

Instructions

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest in long strips from 1 orange. Slice the strips into thin slices.
  2. If you don't have an emergency bag of rice in the freezer, cook 1 cup rice (to yield 2 cups) according to package directions.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, heat the sesame oil, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes (two pinches of you aren't sharing with any Littles), and black pepper over medium heat until it begins to sizzle.
  4. Add the orange zest, 1 cup orange juice, the ketchup, fish sauce, and the soy sauce/coconut aminos. Stir until uniform, increase the heat, and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes.
  5. In a small cup, mix the cornstarch/arrowroot powder with 1 tsp water.
  6. Stream into the sauce while whisking.
  7. Turn off the heat and add the chicken, tossing to coat.
  8. Serve over cooked rice with a sprinkling of green onions, next to something green.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Source: The Brewer and The Baker

Estimated time: 20 minutes