Oh how I love your website,
You have changed my kitchen life,
You make and teach such wonderful, hearty meals,
Will you be my wife?
Oh, wait a second, I am a woman and I already have a husband. Hmm...Ok, scratch that. I would settle with just living with you. I will stay at the lodge. I will keep my distance. Well, except when you are cooking. And when you are taking pictures of the ranch. Oh, and I want to be there when you decorate or go shopping because you have great taste.
If you don't know who I am talking about, you haven't been looking at food blog sites for very long. PW or the Pioneer Woman, or for those of you on a first name basis, Ree, has an amazing site. You must visit. Her writing style will suck you in, her pictures are phenomenal, and her food is hearty and satisfying.
Today's recipe is adapted from her Ranch Style Chicken. I have made her Ranch Style Chicken before and I loved it. Absolutely wonderful! But sometimes, I don't have all of the ingredients I need for her marinade or the hour or two to let the chicken soak in the marinade, so I make a substitution, BBQ sauce. The wonderful thing about her recipe is that the techniques involved allow flexibility in the flavor profile of your marinade and it will still turn out wonderful and juicy every time. Nicol, are you reading this? I promise you this chicken is so juicy and flavorful you will even love it.
On with the chicken...
First we are going to take some bacon.
I personally choose center cut bacon because it is lower in fat, but you can use whatever you like. Although, I will note that I am not sure how wonderful this will be with turkey bacon. If you try it with turkey bacon, let me know how it comes out.
Now, take one strip of bacon per chicken breast and throw it in a preheated pan. Cook it until it is almost done to your taste, but not quite.
The great thing about this is since you are only using a few slices of bacon you can store the rest in the refrigerator for another day. I am thinking French Toast and bacon.
While the bacon is cooking we are going to prep our chicken breast.
First, I wash it to get the ickyness off of the outside. Thanks PW for this great tip. Second, pat it dry with paper towels. Third, trim off any fat. I also take the floppy part on the back and cut it off. You can use these extra smaller pieces for the kids.
Now comes the fun part. Take a sheet of wax paper and fold it in half. Place a chicken breast inside and press the wax paper all around it.
Now take your mallet or rolling pin and beat it.
Get some aggression out. Show that chicken who is boss.
You are doing this to get the chicken breast even in thickness. Once it is all the same size throw that puppy in a bowl and put some BBQ sauce on top.
Once you have completed the beating and saucing of all of your chicken your bacon should be done. Put the bacon to the side on some paper towels to drain and take that wonderful bacon grease and pour it into a glass measuring cup. You need 1/4 of a cup of that beautiful grease and discard, or store the rest, whatever your inclination is. Next you need to add 1/4 cup of canola oil to your measuring cup.
Now is the time to go ahead and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Add your oil/grease contents back in the pan and turn your heat up to medium high. Get that grease nice and hot because this is how we are going to insure juicy chicken.
Once the oil is hot carefully place your chicken in to the pan. A note of warning, please use the longest set of tongs that you own to do this as the grease will pop. Also, this is definitely a time to use an apron. Aprons are good!
Now, don't go crowding the pan. Two to three pieces is the most I would put in at a time.
You are only going to cook this for a minute or two at the most on each side. We are going for searing action. We are not trying to cook it all the way through right now.
It is time to flip when it looks like this.
Once both sides are seared take them out and put them on a sheat pan. Finish searing all of your chicken and you should have something like this.
Throw them in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Once the time is up pull your chicken out. Break your bacon pieces in half and lay them over the chicken. Then you take some shredded cheddar and pile that on to the bacon. If you want some extra BBQ flavor you could also add some additional sauce to the chicken before you add the bacon and cheese.
Throw them back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the chicken and finish off the bacon. Once time is up you have beautiful, tasty, and juicy chicken to serve your family.
Add some veggies to the plate and your meal is ready.
BBQ Ranch Chicken
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 cup BBQ sauce, whatever brand your heart desires
Center Cut bacon, one piece per chicken breast
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Fry up your bacon until it is almost done to your desired crispiness. Once done place on paper towels to drain and reserve 1/4 cup of bacon grease.
Wash your chicken breasts and pat dry. Remove any visible fat. Place in a bowl and cover with your choice of BBQ sauce.
Take the 1/4 cup of reserved bacon grease and add 1/4 cup of canola oil and pour in to pan. Preheat on medium high to high heat. Once hot place 2-3 chicken breasts in to sear using care. After 1-1/2 minutes turn once side is brownish. Once seared on both sides place on a sheet pan and continue process until all of your chicken is completed.
Place chicken in to preheated oven for 10 minutes. Once time is complete pull chicken out and cover with additional sauce, 1 piece of bacon broken in half, and shredded cheese. Place chicken back in oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.