Autumn is coming, and I’m starting to get excited about all those cold-weather meals…soups, stews, and savory dinners that simmer on the stove or slow cook in the oven…filling the house with good smells all day long. Here’s a very simple meal my family enjoys that combines a touch of Summer barbecue with savory Fall flavors. It’s easy to prepare, and can be made gluten and dairy free for those with food sensitivities!
This recipe goes well with stuffed baked potatoes (bake them alongside the chicken) and fresh, steamed broccoli.
Savory Baked Chicken
One boneless, skinless chicken breast per person
Gluten Free, all-natural Barbecue Sauce (1 16 oz bottle, or use this healthy recipe)
One strip nitrate-free turkey bacon per person
Shredded cheddar cheese or dairy-free cheese product
Chopped green onion
In a little olive oil or a non-stick pan, brown both sides of the chicken breasts. You can use frozen chicken breasts if you want, just make sure that you’ve got enough time before dinner to bake them. Pour 1/2 the bottle of Barbecue sauce into the bottom of a crock pot or covered baking dish. Arrange the chicken on the sauce (preferably in a single layer). Cook the turkey bacon until crisp, and use kitchen scissors to snip the bacon over the chicken. Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken.
If you are using a crock pot with a removable crockery, you may follow the recipe up to this point the night before, and then cover it and put the whole thing in the fridge. Just take it out the next morning and let it bake. Bake in a crock pot on low for 7 to 9 hours, or bake in the oven at 350 until the chicken reaches 165 degrees and the juices run clear (40 minutes to an hour). The Barbecue sauce will mix with the juices from the chicken and reduce and thicken during baking to become a rich, savory sauce.
Remove the chicken, put it on plates and spoon extra sauce over each serving. Sprinkle with cheese right away, and then garnish with green onion.
Serve with baked potatoes and steamed broccoli. Enjoy!