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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Root Beer Barbecue Chicken

I have a few barbecue recipes that I've picked up over the past three or four years. I make some darn good pulled pork and I have a nice spicy crock pot barbecue chicken recipe but both of those take all day to make and sometimes I just don't have the time to wait around. This is particularly true on days when I completely forget what's on the menu and remember too late to spend 8 hours roasting a pork shoulder in the oven or even 4 hours slow cooking some chicken in the crock pot. Who wants to wait until midnight to eat dinner, right?

Which brings us to tonight's barbecue chicken. This chicken can be ready to eat in right at an hour. It's tender and juicy, not too sweet or spicy, and is glazed with perfectly sticky, caramelized sauce. I loved this chicken. I love barbecue in general but this was particularly good.

If you're not too fond of root beer, fear not. The root beer flavor is so mild you'd probably never guess it was an ingredient. I could actually have used a bit more root beer flavor myself. I think I may experiment with reducing the root beer and concentrating it before mixing it with the sauce... or maybe not. It's a pretty good recipe just the way it is.

Root Beer Barbecue Chicken

Source: adapted from The Frugal Girls

2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 2-3 pieces each
salt and pepper
1 (18 oz) bottle Sweet Baby Ray's honey barbecue sauce
1 cup root beer

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Spread the chicken pieces in the baking dish in an even layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine the barbecue sauce and root beer and stir gently.

After 30 minutes remove the chicken from the oven and remove the foil. Raise the temperature in the oven to 425 degrees. Drain the juices out of the baking dish and pour about half of the barbecue sauce mixture over the chicken. Be sure the entire chicken is completely coated in sauce.

Bake the chicken at 425 degrees for another 15 minutes. Cover the pan again with foil and set aside for about 10 minutes.

You can serve the chicken as is, just drizzle a little more of the sauce over it to taste, or you can shred the meat as I did.

Once the meat is shredded toss a little more sauce with it and return to the warm oven until ready to serve.

We made some sliders with ours on King's Hawaiian Rolls. I like mine pretty saucy so I added even more sauce. Serve warm and enjoy!

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