Sometimes you hanker for barbecue. You want barbecue so much you can smell it and taste it. The type of barbecue you prefer depends on where you spent your childhood and where you live now. Hormel Foods has a chart of barbecue sauces on its Web site. Barbecue originated in the late 18th century in Virginia and North Carolina, the site says, and started out as vinegar dipping sauce for pork.
Time passed and more ingredients were added to the sauce. People in North Carolina like a sweet, vinegar-based sauce. The folks in South Carolina add mustard to their recipe. If you grew up in the Smoky Mountains you like sauce made with tomatoes, ketchup, and vinegar.
As you might expect, Florida residents add lemon and lime juice to their sauce. Alabama residents prefer a light sauce, but Kentucky residents like theirs dark. Hot and spicy are the words that describe Texas barbecue. As for Mid-Westerners, they like a thick tomato-based sauce.
"Barbecue by Region, " an article on www.xroads. virginia. edu, says “Barbecue is barbecue all over the Southern United States. " According to the article, Memphis residents flavor their tomato-based sauce with molasses. For years I made my barbecue sauce from scratch. The recipe had lots of ingredients, including molasses, and took a half hour to make.
So I came up with a faster version of the recipe. When I am cooking pork I add molasses, but when I am cooking chicken I use orange marmalade instead. You can make the sauce in five minutes and savor the smell for hours. Serve this tangy barbecued chicken with rice and apple coleslaw. Double the recipe if you are cooking for teens.
2 1/2 pounds skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
1 3/4 cups barbecue sauce (lowest sugar/salt content you can find)
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup sugar-free orange marmalade
1 tablespoon orange zest, diced
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
Coat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet with olive oil. Cut each chicken breast into two long strips. Saute the strips on medium-to-high heat until they start to brown. Transfer chicken strips to slow cooker.
Wipe any remaining oil from skillet with paper towels. In the same skillet combine barbecue sauce, orange juice, marmalade, orange zest, and green onions. Heat sauce until it starts to boil and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. Makes 5-6 servings.
Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance nonfiction writer for 28 years. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and was a food writer before she became a health and wellness writer. Her 23th book, “Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief, " written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from http://www.amazon.com A five-star review of the book is posted on Amazon. You will find another review on the American Hospice Foundation Web site under the “School Corner" heading.