Friday, August 19, 2011

Best BBQ Chicken Ever

I couldn't let summer end without giving you a barbecue recipe, and the exuberant title of this dish says it all.  If you don't want to use Gardein chicken, try this easy barbecue sauce over tempeh or tofu.

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 6 Gardein Tuscan chicken breasts (without sauce)
  • Cooking spray
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the ketchup, lemon juice, soy sauce, black pepper, and hot sauce.  Bring to a boil.  (Note: don't turn the heat up very much to boil - ketchup has a far lower boiling point than water, and you risk burning it on the bottom of the saucepan otherwise).

2. Partially cover and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, until reduced to 2/3 cup, stirring quite often.  Set aside.

3. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan coated with cooking spray over high heat.  Add the Gardein chicken and grill for 12 minutes.  At the 8 minute mark, turn the chicken over and baste with 1/3 cup of the reduced ketchup mixture.  Bring the remaining reduced ketchup mixture to the table for serving time.

A couple notes on my favorite ingredients: Try ketchup from Annie's or Organicville, both certified vegan.  My favorite hot sauce is the Hot Stuff from the Wizard, also certified vegan. 

When it comes to wine at a barbecue, my best recommendation is zinfandel.  Although normally I'm a white wine drinker in the summer, zinfandel has all the flavors of a jammy berry pie, and works great with barbecued fare.  Just head to your nearest store and see if there is a vegan and/or unfiltered zinfandel on the shelves.  Of course, you can't go wrong with a bottle of root beer, either, and I've just discovered the vegan root beer from Maine Root.  Add grilled veggies on the side to round out this meal, or for something a little more indulgent (but still healthy) try kale chips.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 chicken breast, about 1 tablespoon sauce), Calories 157

Tasting Notes:
A nice and unusual bright note from the lemon juice helped lift this barbecue sauce out of the ordinary.  And in contrast, a great earthy note from the soy sauce.  Perhaps not the "best," as the title so proudly proclaims, but certainly easy and all-purpose, and a barbecue sauce that you can make again and again, whether for casual nights or for entertaining guests.  


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