Monday, July 31, 2006

Another good chicken marinade

Marinated Barbecue Chicken
The Ugly Binder, Taste of Home’s Light & Tasty Magazine 2004

2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ cup lemon-lime soda
½ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
8 bone-in skinless chicken breast halves (7 ounces each) I used tenders
2 tablespoons commercial barbecue sauce

In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Pour 1 ½ cups marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.

Coat grill with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Add barbecue sauce to reserved marinade. Grill chicken, covered, over indirect medium heat for 35-50 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, turning and basting occasionally with marinade. (Obviously boneless chicken requires much less cooking.) Before serving, brush with reserved marinade.

Yield: 8 servings. Per serving: 205 calories, 3 g fat, 79 mg chol, 590 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 30 g protein

This recipe was high in sugar but there was no oil, so it was a tradeoff. Most of the marinade is discarded so the sugar content isn't really that high in the end product. I only made half of this recipe since I used a small amount of boneless chicken. I could have cut it down even more if my math skills were better.

I was drawn to the recipe since the submitter claimed that it never fails that someone asks her for this recipe whenever she serves it. I had to see if it was that good. The chicken was tender and I liked the touch of sweetness. It was definitely something that I would make again, in some form. The powdered garlic taste was a bit strong. I think I'd like to try it with fresh garlic and a bit of ginger would be great too. Does it need all that the sugar on top of the soda? Those are some elements I might tinker around with.

I just didn't have the time to make the bone-in chicken and I worry that skinless, bone-in chicken would end up dry by the time the chicken is cooked through to the bone. Bone-in chicken can be tricky. Chicken BBQs are big around here, as fundraisers. They usually cook half-chickens. When the chicken turns out well, it's a heavenly thing. But more often than not, I'm praying that someone around me knows the Heimlich maneuver because overcooked chicken is a dangerous thing.

Continuing the grocery discussion, I do try to plan my meals around sales. I buy just about all my meat at Costco or on sale in the grocery stores, even marked down if I'm lucky enough to come across a great deal. I used to use coupons more but now I'm pickier about what I buy so maybe that's what adding up, but I figure it's an investment in our future health. I buy mostly Dreamfields or whole wheat pasta (although I do buy those when they're on sale). I'm buying more organic products but I haven't reached the point where I'll spend $5-$6 dollars for organic butter or $6/lb for organic chicken breasts (although fresh organic meats only started appearing locally this week so I may start working that into our diet). I try to make the healthiest choice when selecting a product, at least when I can stomach paying the (usually) increased price for the healtiest choice.

I went to two other grocery stores this weekend. I spent about $165 total in all three stores since Thursday. That does include an 80-pack of diapers, wipes, some medication, toothpaste, and cat food but all that only adds up to about $40. I didn't buy any cleaning products this week. $10 on soda for hubby which should last almost 2 weeks. $15 for organic milk for my son. So that leaves about $100 for food which included 2 London Broils ($1.77/pound - I regret not buying more), 1 ham slice, 3 packages of lunchmeat (that will last longer than a week) and a large box of chicken fingers so maybe it isn't as bad as I thought it was.

Question of the Day: Do you buy the least expensive product, the healthiest product, the tastiest looking product? Do you buy certain brands out of habit when you shop?


Anonymous said...

In each of these categories, it would depend solely on the item. I don't think I buy out of habit, more out of a definite preference on certain items. For instance, mayo must be Kraft or Hellman's. I won't try any other. So, my purchases are a meeting of what's good at the best price.


Unknown said...

That chicken does look good. If the store brand is a much better deal, I'll buy that. However, if the price isn't that different, I usually have certain brands I buy. For instance, I like Peter Pan PB. I do use store brand yogurt, but I really do prefer IT over the brand names. Really the ONLY thing that I insist on name brand is butter, Land-O-Lakes for me.

Annie said...

I have certain favorite brands that I will not substitute. For instance, I love Simply Smart or Over the Hill fat free milk because the process they use makes the fat free taste creamy. So I will pay extra, but I also use coupons and wait for a sale, then buy 2 at a time. The milk will last at least a month in the fridge if not opened.

Btw, the chicken looks tasty!