How would you describe your perfect day? I imagine your answer, like mine, would vary depending on mood, circumstance or even the season. Because of the frenetic pace that life has been going lately I’ve found myself, more than a few times, wishing I were on a beach somewhere far away. Then the tragic events of the past week in Boston and Texas, a message in my fortune cookie saying “happiness is not about the absence of conflict but rather having the ability to cope with it” and finally today’s message at church about finding joy in difficult circumstances–rapidly put things in perspective.
Suddenly a perfect day was no longer about being in an exotic locale. Today, I was happy to be home…safe, fully aware once again of the blessing of being able to enjoy the simple things. Today I did not long for that “perfect” day–I lived it, surrounded by the ordinary. I walked out of church with a renewed attitude, ran errands and did chores, I did some gardening with my husband, I prepared a simple meal, I baked a cake. I truly didn’t want anything else.
But just because I felt content about being home didn’t mean I had to forego exotic altogether. I whipped up a batch of barbecue sauce with pineapple, mango and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a marinade with a decidedly tropical touch. It was refreshing, sweet and slightly fiery all at once. I marinated some chicken pieces in the sauce and baked them in the oven tonight but I already know this sauce will be making frequent appearances once grilling season is upon us. The sauce may take just seconds to whip up but it tastes far from ordinary. I hope you’ll give it a try.
- 1 shallot
- 5 chipotles with adobo sauce (about ⅓ cup; use 3 for less kick)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1½ – 2 cups frozen mango and pineapple pieces
- 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup lightly-packed brown sugar (light brown)
- 1 whole chicken, cut up or 8-10 chicken pieces (I used 2 half breasts, 3 thighs and 3 drumsticks)
- salt, to taste
- To prepare the barbecue sauce, place all the ingredients from the shallot to the brown sugar in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. I warmed mine up over the stove just to get a better idea of how it would taste once cooked but you don’t have to do this. Feel free to adjust by increasing or reducing the amount of chipotle peppers, vinegar and/or sugar to suit your taste.
- Prep the chicken pieces by rinsing and drying them with paper towels. Season with salt.
- To marinate, toss the chicken pieces in about 2 cups of the barbecue sauce in a large bowl and save the remaining for serving. Marinate for at least 4 hours (better overnight).
- To bake the chicken (you can grill them, too), preheat your oven to 375℉. Tip: You should take the chicken out of the refrigerator about one hour before you plan to bake or grill it to allow it some time to come to room temperature. Arrange the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes. If you want a browner exterior, set the chicken pieces under a broiler for just a couple of minutes until you get some charring on top. Serve warm with the remaining sauce.