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“If you are careful,' Garp wrote, 'if you use good ingredients, and you don't take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat. With writing, I find, you can have all the right ingredients, give plenty of time and care, and still get nothing. Also true of love. Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.” ― John Irving, The World According to Garp

Friday, November 8, 2013

Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Last night I pulled out the crock pot. Whoever invented the crock pot is/was a genius! So easy.  I have also recently learned that spraying it with cooking spray before using it makes for incredibly easy cleanup. Easy to cook a dinner and easy to clean up- this will be even more perfect when I start 12 hour work days in a couple months.

Anyway, enough with the small talk. Let's talk food! For the past week or so, I have thought some Hawaiian BBQ Chicken sounded wonderful. I have never made such a thing before but figured why not experiment. I was really wanting a Kansas City style BBQ flavor with pineapple flavor included. However, BBQ here in the South is not like BBQ in Kansas. Words can't describe how much I miss the Kansas City style BBQ sauces. However, I was at Target and found a Sweet Pineapple Hawaiian-style BBQ Sauce and decided to give it a try. I bought 1 bottle of this:

I had some pineapple spears that needed eaten before they went bad. I cut the nine remaining spears up into smaller chunks. You could easily use a can of pineapple chunks or pineapple tidbits, but I had fresh pineapple so that's the method I used this time around. I took some chicken breasts out of the freezer. I did not even thaw it out first. Took it straight from the freezer into the crock pot. Three ingredients (sauce, pineapple, and chicken) is all this delicious meal takes. With that being said, this is everything I pulled out when preparing to put it in the crock pot (ignore the Mead in the background):

I only used 4 of the 6 chicken breasts. The remaining 2 will most likely be grilled tomorrow. I also ended up not using the can of pineapple juice at all. I was planning to use 1 cup of pineapple juice, but when I opened and tasted the sauce I decided the sauce and fresh pineapple would be enough.

The Bourbon is not necessary. However, a dear friend of mine here in South Carolina has taught me that adding a little Bourbon to meats helps tenderize meat. If you've never added a splash of Bourbon to a marinaded meat of any sort, I highly recommend it. When we grill steak or chicken here, we always marinade them overnight in whatever marinade sauce we decide we want with a splash of Bourbon. It all ends up getting cooked out, but it really helps tenderize the meat. We once forgot it in a peppered steak meal we occasionally make and it was definitely noticeable because the meat was more difficult to chew and cut apart. We always use this cheap bottle of Jim Beam Bourbon as our cooking Bourbon. Again, you do not have to add it, but if you do, you only need a splash of it.

Anyway, back to the meal. Crock pot out. Spray with cooking spray for easy cleanup- not a necessary step, but it sure was nice afterward. Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot- I used 4 because I wanted to take some to work to share at lunch. Pour sauce over all the chicken breasts. I poured a splash of the cooking Bourbon in the empty sauce bottle, put the lid on, and shook it in order to try to get all of the sauce out and then poured the cooking Bourbon into the crock pot from there. I then put my cut up pineapple on top. Here's what it looks like in the crock pot:

Plug in the crock pot and turn it on. I cooked mine on High for 3 hours before I ate it. After about 2 hours, I used a fork to pull apart the chicken a little to allow the sauce to really cover the chicken. After about 2.5 hours of cooking I tasted it. It was done enough that I easily could have eaten it at that point, but I wanted rice with it. I'd have loved brown rice with it, but had none, so white rice it was. Cooked some rice. Put rice on plate and then put the crock pot deliciousness on top. Tada!

You could easily put this on low for 4-6 hours. It was delicious! Two ladies at work tried some of the leftovers today and were highly impressed. They were both asking for the recipe. I loved it served over rice. I have just a little bit left and a couple buns that need to be eaten this weekend so I think tomorrow for lunch I will see how it does as a sandwich.

I would easily make it again just like this. The pineapple sauce was really good. However, I was wanting more of a BBQ flavor so I think next time I will use a traditional BBQ sauce (probably some Sweet Baby Ray's or learn to make my own BBQ sauce) and then use some pineapple juice, along with the pineapple chunks. My sister said she doesn't like cooked pineapple in things so for people like that, I think just regular BBQ sauce and pineapple juice would still be quite delicious.

While the crock pot was doing it's thing, I was busy baking cookies. However, I felt lazy so I cheated a bit. I used a pouch of Betty Crocker Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie mix. With that being said, I did place a personal touch to them. I added the butter and egg as directed, but I also cut up some chopped pecans into small pieces and added a splash of Rum. Let's just say I ate WAY TOO MANY of these cookies today.

So, in summary, here is the brief version of my Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken.


4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts (mine were still frozen)

1 Bottle Archer Farms Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce (from Target)

Pineapple Chunks, drained

Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup!  Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce.  Place drained pineapple chunks on top.  Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce.  Serve over rice, if desired.
That's it! Super easy to make. Super delicious. Super easy to cleanup. I hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time, happy cooking!


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