The first time I made the recipe I made tonight, I intentionally started cooking it before Adam got home from work. Why? Well, for one, it has onions in it, which he doesn’t like. The other reason is the true one… this meal has an unorthodox ingredient in it: Diet Coke!
I know, I know, it sounds weird. I originally saw this recipe on the Weight Watchers message boards, and put off making it for so long because it sounded so strange. When I finally made it, it was a HUGE hit, and I was super surprised. The original recipe was simple: 1 lb chicken, 1 cup ketchup, 1 can diet coke. Place all ingredients in a covered pan, cook 45 min, then shred the chicken and stir. That was it.
Being the cook that I am, I couldn’t leave a recipe that simple alone. So I edited and figured out what would taste good, and came out with the following recipe. I ate it tonight with brown rice and green pepper strips.
Diet Coke Chicken
1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 c. ketchup
1 can diet cola (doesn’t have to be Coke)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a pan that has a lid. Add the onions, and sautee until transluscent. Then add the chicken and brown on both sides. Add ketchup and diet cola. Stir gently, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer over low to medium heat about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the sauce and add hot pepper. Cook another 5 minutes and serve.
The flavor of this is like really good barbecue. I think some vinegar and more ketchup could be added to make this more of a “Carolina” style bbq, and the same recipe with pork in a crockpot is delicious as well! It’s great on rice, polenta, and my very favorite way to eat this stuff is on a whole wheat bun.
Oh, and for those of you wondering what Adam said after I eventually told him that there was diet Coke in this delicious BBQ sandwich he was eating… I believe he said “What? What the heck? I don’t understand! I don’t taste it at all!”
For today’s “story of the plate”, I bring you the story of my grandma’s “everyday” dishes: As long as I could remember, every time I went to my grandma’s house, I got to eat off of “special” plates with pictures of cheeses on them, and my mom and grandma would eat off the “boring grown up plates.” When we’d have family dinners, we’d use one of her many sets of fancier dishes. Once I got a bit older, it wasn’t such an “occasion” to go to grandma’s house, so I got to eat off the “boring grown up plates” too. When grandma passed, I inherited her “boring grown up plates” as my own, and use them almost daily. We’ll keep them as backup dishes even after we get new ones.