Not because I make homemade pasta, or create Bolognese Sauce from scratch (and only from Marcella Hazan's recipe, thank you), or love to create samosas (see my last post) or like to meal plan and cook 5-6 nights a week for me and my husband. No, that's not the reason.
The reason they think I'm insane is because I don't mind spending 2 hours a night in the kitchen cooking and experimenting after getting up at 5:30AM to to go the gym and then work my day job and then run home and then cook and clean and get up and do it all over again.
The other night? I had to agree with them.
I was this close to losing my mind.
If I had to pick up one more package of chicken and make sure it didn't smell like ass or check one more package of broccoli from the disgusting Key Food by my house for yellow mold or ask the mean man at my local cheese shop for a taste of the newest German cheese and put up with his scowl on his face when it's people like ME that put food on HIS table, I was going to lose my mind and throw a block of parmesan-reggiano at him.
Sorry, but my compassion went out the door the other night, but I refused to order greasy take-out. I love take-out like anyone, but there is so much shit in the best take-out, I just couldn't do it.
So in a flurry of emotion and wine-induced frustration, I made the fastest BBQ Chicken and Tangy Buttermilk Coleslaw sandwich I've ever had and let me tell you - the shit not only rocked, but it was cheap and took me 20 minutes to make.
20 minutes. Oh, yea. I can live with that.
Like a lot of fast meals, this uses pre-packaged sauce and bagged coleslaw, but such is the deal with the fast meals. Most fast meals I've made taste like ass. No flavor and just full of thick, gooey sauce to hide the fact there is nothing there to start with.
This one is for all of the people out there who tell me they want fast, fast, fast meals during the week. I think we rush way too much in this society, but you know what? The world is a much faster place now. We have kids, jobs, school - we don't always have time or energy on a Tuesday night to spend an hour in the kitchen.
My biggest complaint with meals 30 minutes or less is that they often taste awful, are boring and are chocked full of fat and calories. The LAST THING WE NEED IN AMERICA IS TO EAT MORE FAT AND CALORIES. Eating fat and calories when you are short on time is NO EXCUSE.
I agree with Bob and Jillian on Biggest Loser. NO MORE EXCUSES. You can eat fast but stop the madness! Have you seen some people asses lately? Christ. Put the fried food down! Stop with calories.
Enough is enough.
So here is my version of...
LEAN AND MEAN 20 MINUTE SAVORY BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICHESLet's cook!
CREAMY LOW-FAT BUTTERMILK COLESLAW
CREAMY LOW-FAT BUTTERMILK COLESLAW
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4 and can easily be doubled.
What you'll need:
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra hot chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 large chicken breasts OR one large 3-4 pound rotisserie chicken (BBQ seasoning, if you can find it)
- 1/2 cup pre-made BBQ sauce*
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 1 bag of Dole brand pre-made coleslaw mix
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons pickled relish
- Loads of fresh pepper and salt to taste
If you use a rotisserie chicken, shred the sucker up and put the meat in a bowl.
For the coleslaw, put the entire bag of pre-packaged coleslaw in a big bowl and toss with the teaspoon of salt and let it sit, at room temperature, as you cook the chicken. The process of the coleslaw sitting with the salt extracts moisture from the slaw and results in a crispier slaw. Sloppy, non-crunchy slaw is truly foul.
If you are using chicken breast, I like to cut big ones in half so they cook a bit faster. Pat dry. Why pat dry? Because it causes any seasoning you put on it to stick, which is key. To get flavor in the meat, you need to season pretty liberally. So pat the flesh dry (ew), salt and pepper both side and put aside.
Throw into the pan 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large, non-stick pan; add the onion with a dash of salt (why salt? extracts the water faster out of the onion)...
(side bar - the other day I passed a cooking store and I saw this on an apron in the window and I nearly pissed myself laughing because it's TRUE):Cook the onion for 4 minutes or so...don't brown!
As the onion cook, put all of your spices in a small bowl and put near the stove.
After the 4 minute or so mark, toss the spices into the pan. Cook them 30 seconds with the onions. Tasty!
Put the last tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Throw in the chicken breasts and brown for 1-2 minutes on each side.
Now comes the part I loathe but it's the only way to make this cook in time (I'm very old-fashioned...I think one should use homemade sauces, but in this case, I'll make an exception).
Pour the bottled BBQ sauce, the water and the cider in the pan and bring to a boil. Turn to a simmer, cover and cook until the breasts are done, about 8 minutes.
If you are using rotisserie chicken, add the chicken 4 minutes after you have reduced the boiling sauce to a simmer. Since the chicken is cooked you don't want to overcook it as you want it to absorb the flavor.
Remove the chicken and put on a cutting board (or remove the rotisserie with a slotted spoon) and let the sauce simmer for a few more minutes until it becomes thick. Pour into a side bowl and reserve.
Brush your four whole wheat (or multi grain hamburger buns) with a 1 teaspoon of olive oil and broil (or toast) until a light brown.
When the chicken is cool, shred by using two forks to pull the meat apart and put aside.
Toss the crispy slaw with the mayo, the buttermilk, the vinegar and the pickled relish. Salt and pepper to taste.
Top 1/4 of the chicken mixture on each bun. Serve with a big heaping side of coleslaw and a pickle or two.
Pass the reserved sauce around and let everyone decide who much they sauce they'd prefer to put on their meat. Why does that sound nasty?
That's it! A sure fire hit. Lots of taste, lower calorie by cutting the BBQ Sauce with water and tart vinegar...and who doesn't love BBQ with tart coleslaw?
Your Food Therapist!