What food is “famous” in your neck of the woods?
Georgia is known for it’s peaches. New England it’s chowder and Louisiana it’s gumbo.
Here in Texas we have a few foods that everyone flocks to when they cross our state lines, from Tex-Mex to barbecue to Texas Grapefruit to the official state nut, the pecan; we Texans sure love our food.
Recently I was challenged by The Dr. Oz Show (yes, THE Dr. Oz Show) to recreate a food that my home state, Texas, was known for. Not just do my own version but create a healthier version of that popular Texas staple, barbecue!
I am always up for a challenge and I took this one and ran with it! I created a delicious and healthier homemade barbecue sauce, a Maple Pecan Barbecue Sauce to be exact, and poured it over some lean chicken breasts that I slow cooked in the crock-pot and then threw it all in a nutrient packed sweet potato! Hello yum (that is totally good for you! (even if it is all brown in color!))!
The key ingredient to this healthy meal was revamping that classic barbecue sauce. I wanted to create a flavorful barbecue sauce that wasn’t loaded with sugar and yet had natural native flavors of Texas, hello gorgeous pecans. This barbecue sauce hit the mark and I couldn’t be more happy with this meal!
Oh….. yeah…. and if you watch The Dr. Oz Show today, look for me raving about this meal!
You can check out this special recipe challenge episode of The Dr. Oz Show here, and be sure and check out the these other bloggers (listed below) who took on this challenge as well, and created a healthier version of their state’s famous food!
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Skinny New England Clam Chowder
Stephanie Eats Chicago: Mini Deep Dish Pizzas
I Breathe…I’m Hungry: Southern Fried Chicken (Low Carb and Gluten Free)
The Newlywed Notebook: Chipotle Avocado Mac and Wisconsin Cheese (Gluten Free)
What’s Cooking In The Burbs: Deep Dish Spinach and Garlic Whole Wheat Pizza
Some Kind A Good: Grilled Georgia Peaches with Toasted Granola and Local Honey
Gimme Some Oven: Skinny Kansas City BBQ Chicken Wings
Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Maple Pecan Barbecue Sauce
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 7-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high Serves: 4
½ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups Maple Pecan Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
4 sweet potatoes
Combine spices in a small bowl.
Rub spice mixture evenly on all sides of chicken and place spice rubbed chicken in slow cooker.
In another bowl, stir together 1 cup Maple Pecan Barbecue Sauce and broth. Pour over chicken in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
During the last hour of cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Prick potatoes several times with fork and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Place wrapped potatoes into preheated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender and cooked through. Carefully remove cooked potatoes from oven and allow to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, remove foil and slice each potato down the center and fluff with a fork.
Once chicken is cooked through, remove from slow cooker and place on cutting board. Using two forks, shred chicken into pieces. Place shredded chicken into bowl and add remaining barbecue sauce. Stir to combine. Stuff barbecue chicken into prepared sweet potatoes and serve immediately.
½ cup pecans
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
½ small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons mesquite liquid smoke
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pecans are evenly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, place pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground.
In a medium sized sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in ground pecans and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients. Allow sauce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Remove barbecue sauce from heat. Let cool. Once cooled, place in blender and puree until smooth. Add additional broth to sauce, if desired, to reach desired consistency.