Not only did I get to participate in a very cheesy #SundaySupper yesterday, but I’m also joining #WeekdaySupper this week! The theme we’re tackling this week is SUPER quick meals. When we lived in the US I was the queen of quick lunches and dinners, but here in Morocco it takes a little more time and planning to make a meal. There aren’t the numbers of canned or boxed convenience items (let alone full meals) to shortcut steps. I’ve managed to “speed prep” by doing a few things. I like to cut and chop my produce as much as possible ahead of time. This saves a lot of time. Also when recipes call for baking, I convert them to the stove-top. Part of this is out of necessity as our oven isn’t really made for baking things a real long time. The third tip, is to use a slow cooker. That’s what I did with this recipe.
This recipe was submitted to American Family’s e-cookbook compilation and as someone whose sole vice in life is Diet Coke, this had to be the one I made. Not to mention, any corner of the world you’re in (and I mean any – we once found Coca-Cola at a Bedouin camp on the Algerian/Moroccan border in the middle of the Sahara Desert) you have access to this convenience item. The original recipe called for making the chicken and then baking it – which you could do but if you’re in a hurry that’s not going to work. The ingredients are simple; a can of regular Coke, a 1/2 bottle of BBQ Sauce, and Chicken. The potatoes are baked, the flesh scooped out and mixed with cheese, butter, some cream, and bacon bits then the potato shells filled and popped into an oven until the cheese has been melted. But, I made it even easier for those crazy weeknights when all you have is 15 minutes to get dinner on the table.
Here’s your play-by-play to get this meal from the stove to your table in under 15 minutes.
Prepare the meat
This can be done the morning of, night before, or much further ahead of time and frozen. Whichever you choose, slice chicken breast into small, thin pieces and add to a Ziploc bag, along with 1 can of Coca Cola (you could use cherry Coke or lime Coke for a different flavor) and 10-12oz of a tangy BBQ sauce. Seal and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
Did you know you can bake potatoes in your slow cooker? Just wash and wrap them up in aluminum foil and pack into your slow cooker set to low. Then let them be for 8-10 hours and they will steam to baked perfection.
You’re home and the 15 minute countdown has started. Begin by adding the chicken and all of the liquid in the bag to a large skillet and turn to medium high heat. Flip your oven to broil. While this heats up, remove the potatoes. Split them in half, scoop out the flesh into a big bowl and mix in butter (about 1-2 Tbsp per potato), shredded cheese, salt and pepper to flavor, and 1 Tbsp 2% milk or heavy cream per potato. Mix together, eat a spoonful to check for taste, adjust salt and pepper if needed, and then distribute the potato mixture among the shells. Place on an oven safe pan and sprinkle cheese and bacon bits on top for good measure. Place under the broiler. Check on the chicken, stirring as needed and lowering heat if the liquid is reducing before the meat is cooked through.
Keep an eye on the broiler! Once the cheese is melted remove immediately!
Then it’s onto the side dish. Any green vegetable works – I opted for steamed broccoli. Steam as normal, toss with some butter and lemon juice. I also mixed in some nuts for a little added texture.
Finish up the chicken. At this point you should be 12-13 minutes in and the meat cooked through, liquid reduced to a sauce. Dish up those plates as the last few seconds tick away!
That wasn’t bad was it?! The best news – my family LOVED this! I think yours will too.
Want to find some other great dinner ideas? Follow AmFam’s Back To the Family Dinner Table Pinterest board. Also be sure to follow their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts for more great ways to get your family back to the table.
Know where else you’ll find great recipes? By visiting the other #WeekdaySupper contributors this week! Let’s face it, we can all use tips for 15 minute meals!
- Monday – MarocMama – Chicken and Coke with Twice Baked Potatoes
- Tuesday – Alida’s Kitchen – Quick & Easy Salsa Chicken
- Wednesday – Cindy’s Recipes and Writings – Creamy Alfredo with Chicken
- Thursday – Momma’s Meals – Pork Chop Glop
- Friday – girlichef – Pizza Toast