Monday, November 22, 2010

Menu Monday: BBQ Chicken 3 ways

I know we're heading into turkey land for a while, but here's some food for thought for next week when you have had your fill of turkey for a while. Or if you are entirely sick of poultry all together, you could do this whole thing with a 5 pound pork butt.

You see, I'm still getting this cooking for 5 down. I know I've had a long time to practice now, but it still doesn't always work out perfectly for me.  I usually manage to make enough for us all for one night. I rarely have enough left overs to ever call a meal again...which is why I usually eat them for lunch  let them sit around long enough in the refrigerator to the point where I can finally am forced to toss them since they've gone bad.  Trouble with this plan is that I 
*shhhh* have to hide them under other things in the trash so DH doesn't see that I've thrown food out.  I know, I know, I feel badly and I know there are starving children in Africa...there's starving children here too for that matter...but sometimes it's hard to have left-overs for one when there's 5 in a family.  And if I wait 5 days for them to accumulate, well, there's just something about 5-day old left overs that isn't too appealing.

Ok, I DO have a point here! 
And if you skipped the whole first 2 paragraphs to get to this point,
you haven't missed anything yet.

I am always so shocked excited when something I cook ACCIDENTALLY
makes enough for 2 fulls meals..........LET ALONE 3! 
But this one, folks, did just that. 
It served my family of 5 three full times.
And the best part, it was SO easy peasy.

Here's my BBQ Chicken 3 ways:

At 9 am put into crock pot:
  • approx. 4 pounds of frozen boneless chicken (I used breasts and thighs)
  • 1 1/2 bottles (or just make it an even 2) of BBQ sauce
  • some honey, maybe 1/4 cup, optional
Turn crock pot on LOW for 8+ hours.

After 8 hours, remove chicken and shred with 2 forks. Mix chicken back into the cooking juices, using maybe 2/3 -3/4 of the juices, whatever starts to look the right consistency to you.

I use Trader Joe's BBQ sauce. They carry 2 types, they are similar, both yummy,
neither contain high fructose corn syrup (MOST BBQ sauces do, hard to find one that doesn't) and I usually mix the two. And yes, you read that right:
FROZEN chicken!  That's one of the greatest things about this, you don't have to thaw your chicken.  You don't have to think about this meal ahead of time!  Ok, but if your chicken is fresh, then just reduce the cooking time by 2 hours.  Or cook on high 3-4 hours.

OK, finally, ahem, here's the 3 meals you'll get:

1. Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandos

I like to use the Challah dinner rolls at Trader Joe's for the buns. Just sweet enough, and kinda small like sliders.  Kids can eat 1, maybe 2, I can eat 2 and DH 2 (or 3 on a night he didn't eat lunch.)  You could also use Hoagie Rolls (above)

2.  BBQ Chicken Pizza

The next night I made pizza with the left over chicken.  I started with Trader Joe's uncooked whole wheat pizza dough. It says you can bake it once with the toppings on, but that never works for me.  I bake it first, alone, on the pizza stone but with parchment paper beneath (after MANY times of trial and error) for about 12 min. on 425 degrees.  Then I put on my toppings and bake again for another 12 min. or so.  The second time around it doesn't need the parchment paper and goes directly on the pizza stone. 

I topped the pizza with:
  • A mixture of BBQ sauce and chopped tomatoes (or tomato paste)
  • the BBQ chicken
  • sliced red onion
  • blue cheese
  • a little mozzarella
  • cilantro
After baking, you can sprinkle a little more crumbled blue cheese, cilantro and if you are brave....more red onion. Just make sure your significant other also adds onion!

3.  BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

My family has a love affair with Mexican food (maybe that's cause 4 of the 5 people are part Mexican) and we seem to turn anything and everything into a burrito or quesadilla. 

So I just cooked up some fresh tortillas (Costco sells these great fresh tortillas that have never been cooked, they're that fresh) and added:
  •  the BBQ Chicken left overs that we STILL had (I know, I couldn't believe it!)
  •   Jack cheese (I snuck some Gouda in mine cause I love it so)
  • chopped tomatoes
Sorry, no camera battery was dead and my troops were restless.

And there I had it, a 3rd night of left overs!
I was SO proud of myself in that I used all of the left overs and didn't let a single morsel go to waste. 
How easy was that? 
And it took about 4 minutes to put it all in the crock pot on day 1.

Please you have a fave that you cook up once and lasts for 2 meals,
or better yet 3?  (And don't say Thanksgiving Turkey, I already know that one!)

From my family to yours:
May you have safe travels, an abundance of love, food and smiles.


  1. I am going to try this myself! Love the site and all your tips! Keep it up Celeste!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  2. Poultry tastes good. Pork tastes even better...except for duck that is.

  3. Annie: Thanks for the sweet comments! Loved seeing you last week.

    3 L's Dad: do you mean bacon tastes even better?! And yes, I do have to agree on the duck.


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