All-American barbecue reduces fat by 50 percent

June 09, 1993|By Susanne A. Davis

It's the time of year to enjoy the simple pleasure of cookin outdoors and eating relaxed meals on the deck. A down-home, (( all-American meal is in order, and this week's menu of barbecued chicken, potatoes and slaw, fits the bill. The meal is ready in well under an hour. The fact that the fat content has been slashed by half without sacrificing traditional flavor is an added perk.

The barbecue sauce for the chicken requires no cooking: It relies on a combination of Asian condiments (all available at most supermarkets) quickly blended with ketchup and cider vinegar. The chicken is skinless, and basting it with the sauce throughout the grilling gives the meat a crisp glaze. The potatoes are cooked in the oven, not the deep-fat fryer, yet they are irresistibly crunchy and browned. The slaw's dressing is quickly stirred together from ingredients found on the pantry shelf.

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Barbecued chicken

Precooking the chicken in the microwave or gently poaching it on the stove top before finishing it on the grill ensures that the meat is cooked through but the sauce is not charred.

1 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin and fat removed

1/3 cup tomato ketchup

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese chili paste with garlic

Arrange chicken pieces in a microwaveable dish with the thickest parts toward the outside of the dish. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave at high power for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the chicken pieces twice, or until tender. Alternatively, in a wide saucepan, cover chicken with cold water and bring to a simmer, skimming off any froth. Simmer gently until the chicken is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the grill or preheat the broiler.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. With tongs, remove the chicken from the dish or saucepan and brush both sides generously with barbecue sauce. Grill over medium-high heat or broil, basting with the barbecue sauce often, until the chicken is glazed on the outside and no longer pink inside. Serves 4.

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Oven fries

3 large all-purpose potatoes, (1 1/2 pounds total), unpeeled, scrubbed

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Set oven rack on the upper level; preheat to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet lightly with a non-stick cooking spray. Cut each potato lengthwise into 8 wedges.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, salt, paprika and pepper. Add potato wedges and toss to coat. Spread potatoes on baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Loosen and turn the potatoes; roast for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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Tricolor coleslaw

3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

3 tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups shredded red cabbage ( 1/4 of a small head)

2 cups shredded green cabbage ( 1/4 of a small head)

1 cup grated carrots (two medium carrots)

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, sugar and caraway seed, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Add cabbage and carrots and toss well. Serve within 2 hours. Serves 4.

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