Monday, May 19, 2008

Trying my hand at homemade chicken bbq

Recipe name: Smoky Orange Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
source: Rachel Ray (Food Network)
servings: 4
Cookbook date: May 14
Date prepared: May 17 (lunch)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 orange, zested and cut into wedges, for garnish
1 cup chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
vegetable oil, for drizzling
grill seasoning
romaine lettuce
sliced red onions
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted and buttered
(note: RR's recipe includes instructions on making cole slaw, which I did not attempt)

Preheat a grill pan or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Heat a small saucepan over moderate heat. Add oil and onion. Saute onion in oil for 3-5 minutes or until onions are soft. Combine chipotle peppers in adobo, ketchup, orange juice, orange zest and chicken broth in a blender. blend on high until sauce is smoother. Pour sauce into saucepan with onion and heat to a bubble. Reduce heat to simmer. Coat chicken lightly with a drizzle of oil and season breasts with grill seasoning blend. Grill 5-6 minutes on the first side, turn. remove 1/2 of the barbecue sauce to a small bowl and baste chicken liberally with it. turn chicken after 4 minutes, coat with sauce again and cook another 2-3 minutes. To serve sandwiches, slice grilled chicken on an angle and fan out 1 breast on each bun bottom. Spoon remaining sauce from saucepan over the sliced chicken. serve open faced with the lettuce and red onions setting on bun tops to the side.

Well, this was certainly an adventure. First, I should tell you about my substitutions in light of what was hanging out in my fridge today. First, I had 5 chipotle peppers in adobo, not 3, and I didn't want to save 2 for later. So I used them all. This resulted in my mouth dying a thousand deaths, but we'll get to that in a minutes. Second, I used yellow onions instead of red, and I didn't have any romaine lettuce, but I did have spinach. Greens are greens, right? Furthermore, the recipe called for ketchup, but I actually had some half-used barbecue sauce in the fridge, so I added that instead.

While I was making this, everything was going along rather smoothly untilI reached the point where I had to blend all of the ingredients together. I realized then that I had not followed the instructions correctly. I added the peppers, bbq sauce, oj, zest and broth to the onions and they were already rather hot. "No big deal," I thought. I transferred everything to the blender, turned it on, and witnessed the mass destruction of everything within a 4 foot radius of the blender.

So evidently the steam from the sauce created pressure in the blender that could not be contained. Oops. After throwing out several choice words to the universe and quickly wiping up the mess, I proceeded with the recipe. I used the George Foreman to grill the chicken, which saved a bit of time.

The first picture is what my dish looked like when all was said and done. I observed that the sauce was of a most unfortunate consistency....very runny, and not reminiscent at all of a condiment that you would top any sort of burger with. But I have had many more winners than losers with Rachel Ray's recipes, so I thought I might as well dig in.

And that, my friends, is when I proceeded to take a handful of years off of my life. How can I describe the heat in this sauce? Words fail me here, so just try to imagine me chugging down my whole glass of water, then chomping as fast as I could on extra spinach leaves like a cow with indigestion. Finding no relief with these methods, I then went for the milk (oh yes, right out of the jug). And in a last ditch effort, I literally ran around the house hoping to sweat it out with exercise. I've been working on this post for about 10 minutes, and I'm just now starting to get the feeling back in my mouth. Perhaps I have a more British palette than your average Joe, and you may find this recipe to be quite satisfying. I will be taking a pass on this one. And now I have to go flush my eyes out because I just touched my eye, and now it is on fire. Smoky Orange Chicken BBQ sandwich, I officially hate you.

expense: ***
time: ***
taste: *


Shannon said...

Hilarious! I'm definitely going to keep reading, and hopefully trying your recipes. I'll send you some fast/cheap/yummy recipes later in the summer when I finish school. I don't have many, so I admire your effort!

Meredith said...

Oh, no!

Welcome to the blogging world, mishaps and all : )

Leslie said...

I <3 you, tee !!!