Tag Archives: vinegar

Pulled Chicken

Good morning, lovely friends! Somehow, it’s Monday again. But that’s okay. We just came off a fabulous weekend with my sister Erica and her husband, I’m starting a yoga class tonight with my favorite teacher at Broadway Armory Park, I’m about to imbibe a steaming mug of mint tea, and I have exciting things to share with you this week–starting with this chicken.

What to say about this chicken?

It’s great. I made it on a whim. I was committed to bringing a dish to a women’s gathering at our church, and as I was browsing the incredible food blog that is Kayotic Kitchen, this chicken sandwich caught my eye. I’m so glad that Kay highlighted it in her Superbowl-friendly recipes post, because I might not have found it otherwise. It’s simple (not at all labor intensive, seriously), delicious, and I was asked for the recipe.

There’s no greater compliment than being asked for the recipe, in my book.

The sauce is richly complex, satisfying, the right amount of vinegary and sweet, and of course adjustable to each person’s individual taste. So make this for a party! It’s amazing.

I made a few changes–green pepper instead of red, ginger sauce for added sweetness, sriracha, more chicken (the ratio of sauce was a little high), and the results were delectable. I will now show you how it all went down!



(Serves 10-12)

7-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion
2 TBS butter
1 bell pepper (red or green)
6-8 garlic cloves
1 serrano or jalapeño chili, seeds and membrane removed
1 cup ketchup
3 TBS sriracha
1 1/2 cups water
3 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS ginger syrup
1/2 cup apple cider or white wine vinegar
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
2 tsp salt, to taste
Tabasco, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Mince the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and chili.

Heat the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 15 minutes, until it’s starting to caramelize.

Add the bell pepper, garlic and chili and continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened.

Season those veggies with salt and pepper as they cook.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients (except for the chicken).

Give the sauce a taste if you want, though the flavors will change and deepen when it cooks.

If you don’t have a certain ingredient (like ginger sauce), don’t sweat it–this is a flexible sauce. A forgiving sauce. A sauce that’s begging to be personalized.

Add the ketchup mixture to the pot with the veggies and bring ‘er to a boil.

Add the chicken breasts, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

Don’t overcook the chicken, or it will dry out! Overcooked chicken is the worst, man, especially once you understand the full potential of tender, perfectly cooked fowl flesh.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and set it aside to cool a little on a plate.

Turn the heat up to medium and simmer the sauce for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom, until it’s very thick. Like dees!

And if you burn it a little (I certainly did–you can see the blackened chunks if you look closely), it only adds to the smokiness of the barbecue flavor.

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Shred the chicken with two forks . . .

. . . and mix the chicken and sauce together.

My chicken went straight into this lovely plastic container, for transportation to our women’s ministry gathering.

Oh man, my mouth is watering.

Serve! On a plate, over rice, in a sandwich—you’ll love it.

The chicken is so amazingly tender and flavorful.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Pulled Chicken

Roasted Red Pepper Couscous with Avocado and Mozzarella

I am so pleased with this simple little recipe, a variation on this original (once again identified in my TastyKitchen perusings). It’s full of flavor. It’s simple and quick. I know I’ll be coming back to it for weeknight meals.

A few things: the avocado and mozzarella are not just garnishes; they are 100% necessary to the dish. Since I used jarred roasted red peppers (my grocery store was out of fresh ones–I wonder if Mardi Gras had something to do with that), the acidity level of the couscous with the sauce would have been too high for me to enjoy it by itself. However, once the avocado and mozzarella were stirred in, everything became balanced and beautiful, and I sighed with pleasure. I used a pinch of sugar to counteract the acidity, but if you roast your own peppers you can probably get by without.

This could work as a fun side dish to fish or chicken, or you can top it off with an egg or two and call it a meal! That’s what we did, and what we will be doing again.


(Serves 2)

1 cup dry Israeli couscous
3 roasted red peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 TBS sherry or white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 TBS olive oil
1 pinch sugar, optional (especially if using jarred peppers)
1 whole avocado
1 sprinkling lemon juice
1 cup torn fresh mozzarella or bocconcini
4 fried or hard boiled eggs (optional, to make this into a full meal)

If you’ve never made Israeli couscous, you’re in for a treat. They grains are much larger than ‘regular’ couscous, and have a delightful chew to them when cooked al dente.

I think what I used may be whole wheat, but I bought it so long ago that I can’t remember.

Anyway, Israeli couscous cooks just like pasta, so let’s start off by boiling some water.

When it comes to a boil, add the couscous and cook it for about 7 minutes, until it’s al dente.

All of a sudden I’m looking at that picture and thinking “rabbit food pellets.” Ew. Try not to think that–banish it from your mind! This is not pet food. This is not pet food. Or pet, um droppings.

When it’s done, drain the couscous and pour it back into the pot.

In the meantime, grab ye the remaining ingredients.

Toss the roasted red peppers in a blender.

Examine it from a few different angles, just for the heck of it.

Toss in the peeled garlic cloves, salt and pepper . . .

. . . and the vinegar and olive oil too.

Press blend. It just needs about a minute in there, and you can stop as soon as it’s starting to get smooth. I think that leaving a little texture is quite desirable.

Also, please use a top on your blender. Don’t be like me and have a nearly explosive disaster only averted by the quick placement of the palm of your hand.

Very important step: taste the sauce and if there’s too much acidity, adjust with a pinch of sugar. The acidity will be greater if you use jarred red peppers; roasting your own will probably make the addition of sugar unnecessary. And am I ever glad that further testing is required! I love further testing.

With the heat on medium, add the sauce to the couscous and cook for about 5 minutes.

I love that fiery sunset orange color.

It will start off looking a little soupy, so cook it until the couscous passes the ‘drag’ test (when you drag a spatula across the bottom of the pot, the area doesn’t immediately fill with liquid).

Taste again and adjust the seasoning.

Cut the avocado into slivers, and sprinkle them with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Tear up some fresh mozzarella pieces, or simply use halved bocconcini. Lightly salt both the avocado and the cheese.

Some day I need to sing a canticle in honor of avocado. Words just can’t express my love.

Stir the avocado and mozzarella into the couscous, and serve!

I can’t emphasize enough how necessary the avocado and mozzarella are to this dish. Please believe me. They turn it from ‘meh’ into ‘mwahhahahaaa!!!’

You can make a pretty arrangement with it, but unless there’s a camera involved, it’s probably not worth it. Here’s how it really looks once you start chowing down:


If you want to make it into a full meal, top it off with 4 hardboiled or fried eggs (2 per person). That is the absolute best way to eat it.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Roasted Red Pepper Couscous with Avocado and Mozzarella