Tuesday, May 6, 2014

BBQ Chicken and Mac & Cheese!

If you're anything like me, then you just love to try new recipes! I take after my mom that way. ;) I get so excited when I come across something new to make, and, after discovering a new recipe, am just itching to get into the kitchen to try it. So, without further ado, here are a couple new recipes I've recently tried that were big hits here (read: my husband raved and raved about them ;) ).

A couple weeks ago, I made some BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner. I still had plenty of BBQ sauce left over that I needed to use, and so I went a-pinteresting for an oven-baked BBQ chicken recipe.  And this is what I found! :)

Super Moist Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

4 chicken breasts

3 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (can also use good old regular paprika)

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 - 3/4 tsp kosher salt

pepper to taste

1 c. of your favorite prepared BBQ sauce (can be homemade or store-bought)

  1. Place chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag.
  2. Combine olive oil, smoked paprika, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl and pour over chicken.
  3. Let chicken marinade for at least an hour, up to 24 in the fridge (note: I learned that it can marinate a lot longer and not cause any problems. ;) I had originally placed the chicken in the fridge to marinate on a Saturday night so that we could have it for lunch Sunday after church. My sweet hubby surprised me by taking me out to lunch after church instead, and so I just made the chicken for our dinner Monday night. Marinating the chicken for 48 hours is just fine, trust me. ;) )
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Remove chicken from bag and place in desired dish. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and brush a layer of BBQ sauce on the chicken. Return to the oven and repeat brushing with BBQ sauce every 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes longer. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F when read with a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
  7. Enjoy! :)

The evening we had the BBQ chicken for dinner, I paired it with broccoli and a brand new Mac&Cheese recipe. It was great!

Skillet Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

3 1/2 c. water, plus extra if needed

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

12 oz. (about 3 c.) elbow macaroni

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp hot sauce (we had Louisiana hot sauce on hand, but you can use what you want)

6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 c.)

6 oz. monterey jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 c.)

2 tbsp butter, cut into small chunks

ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Bring water, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, the macaroni, and 1/2 tsp salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat (I actually made this all in my deep dish cast iron skillet; it was great! If you choose to do so, do not have it over H heat-you will scorch your food!). Cook at a vigorous  simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9-12 minutes.
  2. Whisk the remaining 1/2 c. evaporated milk, the cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses, one handful at a time, adding a little water as needed to adjust the consistence of the sauce. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
  4. And again, enjoy! :)

If my husband's reaction is any sign, you're going to LOVE these recipes! :) I have to say, I was really pleased myself with how they turned out. The chicken was just as moist when the leftovers were heated up in the oven 2 days later. And I loved that the macaroni could be made start-to-finish in just one pan. We will definitely be having these for dinner again sometime!

You can expect to see many more recipes posted here in the future. Starting next Monday, Hargraves Home and Hearth will feature "Meal Monday"-a post every Monday containing one or two (or three or four.... ;) ) new recipes for you to try in your own home. Stay tuned!

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