Thursday, June 11, 2009

Scott Fed Kelly BBQ Fork Pulled Chicken

Its always interesting to me when I get a request through email that starts off with the saying "can we have this". I take it as a credit to my skills that there is never a question of do I know how to make it but more of a request of would you make this for me.

It wasnt until I was with my Irish Lass that I started to appreciate healthy cooking. When the public comes to me for a meal the last thing on their mind is healthy eating. Oh they want to give the appearance that the meal they order is healthy but to actually consume a healthy meal....well thats just Un-American. Hence the nations problems with obesity.

But hear lately I have been challenged to start looking at the meals I prepare at home. Watching the calories, fat content, how many carbs and most of all keeping it healthy.

The recipe was a crockpot dish of BBQ chicken. While I like using crock pots I know I can do better. Using the oven to handle the roasting of the meat as it cooks down will give the dish a richer deeper flavor. The addition of red onions also should help give the chicken a sweeter flavor without putting in any additional calories.

The seasoning of this dish is going to be fun as well. I like to make my own seasoning mixes. Its to the point now that Kelly knows when I make the seasoning mix and when I grab one of the celebrity hack chefs pre-made mixes.

The theory behind any pulled meat is that the meat is cooked down to the point that a push or pulling of a fork will cause the meat to fall apart. This is accomplished through several methods. The first and easiest is to use a peice of meat that is already naturally tender. The tenderloin of beef or pork comes to mind. The problem with using that cut of meat is its expense, up to $18 a pound. The second method is to marinate the meat and let the marinade break down the meat before the cooking process. The third way is to cook the meat at a very low temprature for a very long time. I like to use a combination of the last two.

The history of bbq meats is not from a single source. The French do something simular and call it confit, the British and Irish have been makeing stews using this method. But the origin of American bbq can be pointed to the deep south and pre Civil War. One theory is that the slaves used to take the cuts of meat that were detirmined to be unusable and cooked them over an open flame in and outdoor kitchen. Through the use of vinegars and mustards the meat would tenderize to the point of being enjoyable.

The recipe I got from Kelly was from a healthy weight loss website. I like seeing those recipes cause they let me know a direction to work towards keeping the dish healthy and fat free.

So on to the recipe

2# boneless skinless chicken breast
1 cup local lowfat ketchup (I was skeptical of this but found it to be a little sweeter than the normal ketchup, it actually reminded me of the Ketchup I used to eat with my fish and chips when I was in England)
1/2 cup of rasperry vinegar (it was all I had in the kitchen)
1/4 cup worsteshire sauce
1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of diced onions (white onions are ok red onions would be better)

1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp garlic salt
2 tbsp dried basil

lay the chicken in a heavy bottom pan (preferably a cast iron skillet) mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover the top of the pan with aluminym foil and bake in a oven at 250 degrees for about 3 hours. Pull the chicken from the pan and break up with a fork. Place the skillet on the stove and turn on to high heat and cook the liquid down until it is nice a thick and pour the sauce over the meat. Serve on a low fat bun and a nice tossed salad.

Bonne Apetite

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