Food

FOUR-INGREDIENT BBQ CHICKEN MEAL PREP

If I’ve been taken by pirates and the only way they’ll release me is if you give the correct answer to the question, “Aside from her husband and cats, what has Brittany’s heart?” know that the answer is food. Food is delicious. Food is nutritious. Food is life. Literally. Try living without it.

When my better half and I started dating, my cooking skills were…meh. Actually, my shitty cooking skills can be traced back to lonnnng before I met the father to my three furry demons/angels (I’m talking about cats here. I don’t have a bunch of incredibly hairy children running around). I’m Italian; like, ‘great-grandfather came over here with $17 in his pocket’ Italian. You’d think I’d know how to make pasta. HA. Here’s a little snippet from my sophomore year of college when I tried making pasta and didn’t know that you had to drain the pasta before adding the sauce:

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I’m an embarrassment. I know. Fortunately, I’ve come a long way since then (i.e. I now drain my pasta). Now, here’s the thing about my husband: if you don’t remind him to eat a meal, he won’t eat. It’s annoying. I’m the complete opposite. You know when they fill the trough for the pigs at the farm and the pigs just storm it and the whole situation resembles a scene straight out of Braveheart? That’s me whenever I open the fridge. In order to get him to eat a bit more, I decided it’s time to hop on the meal-prep bandwagon. I’m fortunate enough to work remotely, so meal prep hasn’t really been too high on my list of priorities. I like the process of cooking my meals; from the setup to the breakdown, it’s calming (until it’s not and I start yelling a great deal of obscenities/crying/chugging wine straight from the bottle). For the dude, however, I’ve found that making sure food is ready to go is the key to making sure he eats. Who would have thunk it, eh? Obviously, there are set nights where I cook and we sit down and eat together, but those nights are few and far in-between because he works nights a lot of the time.

With meal prep, I have two goals: to make sure we are fed quality food (vs something frozen you just pop in the microwave) and to cut down grocery costs. Prepping a fancy dish is all fine and dandy but sometimes I’m lazy and sometimes I’d rather have the extra cash to go on a date night versus spending it on buying cardamom…whatever the fuck that is (it’s a spice, I know).

This week, I decided to go with a relatively small amount of ingredients for an easy, BBQ chicken dish. This is SO simple and you can get creative/add your own flair to it. Now, when I say this is a “Four-Ingredient BBQ Chicken Meal Prep,” I’m not counting the basics that you should all already own and if you don’t already own these things, wtf, buy them now!

I base what I make on what’s on sale. This week, it was chicken tenders and baby red potatoes. You can absolutely use chicken breasts, thighs, sweet potatoes (I actually made a delicious BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Bowl last week for prep, courtesy of The Creative Bite, that you can check out here), etc.

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Ignore the lemon and zucchini. That was before I decided that I was too lazy to prep a completely different meal.

Okay, enough of this. Let’s get to cookin’:

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INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken tenders (I used 12oz. This was a tiny, three-meal prep. Totally depends on how much you’re wanting to prep)
  • 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup to save for later of BBQ sauce (The dude loves Stubb’s. Make sure you check the sugar content in your BBQ sauce. It typically runs high in sugar. The original Stubb’s has 4g of sugar per serving, as opposed to the Sticky Sweet that has 10g of sugar per serving. Again, use more or less depending on how much you’re making. He loves BBQ, so I went on the heavier side of things).
  • Frozen pea/carrot mixture
  • 1 pound Baby Red potatoes
  • 1.5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you should always have this in your arsenal..same goes for the salt and pepper, garlic, and thyme/various spices)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Thyme

DIRECTIONS

***I have two ovens (toaster oven and a regular oven). Basing this on the way I cooked the meal. This will work in one oven, but the process will be a bit longer***

BABY RED ‘TATERS

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Lightly oil or spray down a baking sheet with nonstick spray
  • While it’s preheating, either microwave your baby red potatoes for 10-15 minutes orboil them in a large pot for 15-20 minutes (time will depend on how many you’re using. I was feeling lazy, so I stuck them in the microwave for 15min. They’re done when they’re tender).
  • Transfer them to the baking sheet and, using a fork, smash each one so the potato is still in one piece, but smashed (this will make them nice and crispy on the outside, while still soft and delicious on the inside).
  • Top with the olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper (again, get crazy. If you want some rosemary on these suckers, you do you).
  • Bake for 15min or until crispy

CHICKEN TENDERS

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Lightly oil or spray down a baking sheet with nonstick spray
  • Place tenders on a paper towel in order to soak up some of the moisture
  • Season as desired (salt and pepper)
  • Brush each side with BBQ sauce
  • Pour a few ounces of water or broth into the pan
  • Plop those suckers in the oven for 15-20min or until tenders reach 165 degrees (ovens vary. Some may require less time. All depends on the size of your tenders and your oven).
  • After they’re done, using two forks, shred the chicken and toss with the rest of the BBQ sauce.

while those are cookin…

PEAS AND CARROTS

  • Follow the directions on the frozen veggies bag
  • If you’re feelin’ like you want some butter in your life, toss a bit of unsalted butter in the mixture after it’s cooked

Finally, do a dance, because your meal prep is done. Wait for everything to cool down before putting it into the fridge. Try not to eat it all in one day. It’ll be tempting. Trust me.

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