I've had a heartfelt, desperate request for "ANYTHING without bones" and Root Beer Barbeque sauce. While I felt absolutely confident that the smoky-sweet soda sauce would be smashing on chicken, I hadn't actually tried it. Now I can bear witness.
I can relate to the repulsion of eating meat off the bones. After all, I spent a couple of years as a vegetarian after doing a study abroad in Israel. With no refrigeration in the Old City meat markets, even King Henry VIII would have gone veggie. I survived and recovered, but I still think twice before sinking my teeth into a side of ribs. I think twice. Then I gobble them up.
The concept for chicken is the same as for the ribs, except I add a smidgen of olive oil to the marinade because chicken can dry out fast on the grill. I used chicken tenders, but you could use any boneless, skinless chicken you've got around; thighs, breasts, or other sultry cuts.
As a bonus, with leftover chicken and my refrigerator pickles (see yesterday's post), I packed my husband a humdinger of a sandwich: whole grain bread smeared with Caesar dressing and piled high with chicken, pickles, and romaine. In a cruel twist of fate, he left it in his work fridge before we left for a week's vacation. I'm told, by his very reliable and trustworthy coworkers, that the sandwich was in fact worth skipping vacation for.Root Beer Barbeque Chicken
Estimated Cost: $4.00
Notes: When your store has chicken on sale ($1.77/lb at mine), cram your freezer.
2 cans root beer, divided use
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
1/2 cup Dijon mustard, plus 1/4 cup more for marinade
brown sugar, if needed
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 tablespoon each paprika and garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a small saucepan, boil one can root beer until thick and syrupy, about 30 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup each smoky barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup Dijon. Taste this sauce and add brown sugar if the sauce needs a little sweetness. (Notes: you should have plenty of extra sauce for dipping-just reserve half of it before spreading it on the chicken.) Meanwhile, smear chicken with Dijon. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder; drizzle with olive oil. Place in zip top bag. Pour root beer over chicken, cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Grill or broil chicken, about five minutes per side, or until outside is nicely browned and inside is no longer pink.
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