Originally created 06/26/02

Tasty barbecue doesn't need grill

My children love to help out in the kitchen, and summer is the perfect time to give them some hands-on cooking fun. This week's recipe for Kids "Q" is a crockpot dish that they can practically prepare themselves. Plus, it's an entree they will enjoy eating.

My Kids "Q" is based on an old barbecued-chicken recipe that calls for a combination of ketchup and Coca-Cola. Traditionally the dish was prepared in the oven, but I've opted to use the crockpot to keep my kitchen cool.

I refuse to cook crockpot recipes that call for a lot of stovetop browning before cooking in the slow cooker. If I have to dirty both a skillet and a crockpot, why bother using the crockpot at all? So, whenever I prepare bone-in chicken in the crockpot, I remove the skin. This step not only decreases the fat content of the dish, but you don't have to brown the chicken pieces before adding them to the crockpot.

Removing the skin from bone-in chicken pieces is easy if you have a pair of good kitchen shears. Or, ask your supermarket's butcher shop to remove the skin for you. You'd be surprised how accommodating they are.

The chicken pieces get a dash of barbecue flavor from dry barbecue seasonings. You'll find barbecue seasonings in the spice aisle of your supermarket. The children can sprinkle the seasonings on for you, just be sure they wash their hands well after handling the raw chicken.

While chopping with a sharp knife isn't safe for young children, they can chop an onion with one of the handy food choppers available at most kitchen stores. My Zyliss food chopper is a kitchen tool I'd hardly want to live without, and it's safe enough for my children to use.

You'll want to peel and quarter an onion for your children, then let them place some of the onion under the chopper and press the chopper up and down until the onion is finely chopped. If you don't have a food chopper, you could use frozen onions, or you can omit the onion all together.

The chopped onions are combined with some ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and Coca-Cola. The sauce is poured over the chicken in the crockpot and cooks all day on low.

Involve the children in the preparation of the side dishes, too. Children are great at shucking summer's fresh corn, which pairs well with the barbecued chicken. Add some rolls, and give the children lots of praise for a meal they practically prepared all by themselves.

KIDS "Q" Quick

1 package (3 to 3 1/2 pounds) "pick of the chix," skin removed *

1 teaspoon barbecue seasoning

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup Coca-Cola

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Season both sides of the chicken pieces with the barbecue seasoning and place in a crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Remove the chicken pieces to a serving platter and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

* This includes 2 chicken breast halves, 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks.

 Calories: 241
 Protein: 26.3 g
 Carbohydrates: 22 g
 Fiber: 1.2 g
 Fat: 5.6 g
 Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
 Cholesterol: 78 mg
 Sodium: 815 mg
 Nutrient analysis provided by Fran Frye, a licensed and registered dietitian of the Augusta District Dietetic Association. Send questions via e-mail to augustadietitian@yahoo.com.


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