Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Weeknight Meals-BBQ Chicken Tenders
I recently attended the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. When I used to go to the Food Show in NYC back in college, I remembered it being about how many samples we could find and gadgets we could leave with. This time, I went looking for products that I like to term "my kid would eat this".
My tastings ranged from boxed to gluten free cookies, caramel-way-too-much-sugar popcorn to pesto and romano cheese popcorn (yum). I had Strauss soft serve ice cream, local goat cheese and some delicious chocolates (all of which my kids would eat). I also got to sample some great sauces.
I tasted many sauces and two stood out; Bone Suckin' Sauce and a steak sauce (look for another post on this). After walking around for hours trying all of these products, I felt obliged to start writing about them, in hopes that you might try it, too. My criterion was something that tasted good, felt good on the tongue and wasn't too spicy. I found that this tends to be what my children look for as well. Lastly, I look for sauces that don't have a lot of "not so good for you" things like high fructose corn syrup or ones which have ingredients I can't pronounce.
If you have a prepared sauce and some protein in the fridge or freezer, you might chose to stay home and cook rather than simply ordering take-out. This can prove to be a delicious alternative. It can make a meal that might be ho-hum into something that becomes, as my almost 5 year old put it, "awesome". Really, that's what he said about this.
I didn't want to fuss too much yet I felt inspired to cook something tasty. With my jar of bbq sauce, I decided to go with something simple; sauteed chicken tenders. Instead of rice or pasta, I made millet. Millet is a whole grain, can be found in the bulk aisle of the grocery store, is a good source of magnesium, and is naturally gluten-free. It cooks like rice but is spongier. I like to add a little butter and salt. To make life easy, though, I just called it rice.
At the end of the meal, the plates were mostly cleaned. My son and daughter both enjoyed the chicken first (as did my husband and I) and the millet with the kale coming in third for them. The point of this is that by simply adding a tasty sauce to an easy dish, you might have very happy campers at the end of the meal. Wouldn't it be nice not to have to coax, threaten or barter at dinner?
For this dish, I heated a saute pan, added some oil and simply cooked the chicken tenders (you could also use a breast), one side at a time, without moving it very much. For the last 2-3 minutes, I added the sauce and a cover. This sauce would also go well with chicken thighs, pork tenderlon and without a doubt, ribs. If you don't eat meat, try it on tofu or mix it with tomato sauce and serve over pasta. Next time you are looking for a good bbq sauce for the family, try this one.