“Blended family” is a phrase that has become incredibly common in the United States. We all understand the special challenges of taking members of two individual families and melding them to create one, unified new family. I think, in a lot of ways, EVERY family is “blended”. Each person is an individual with their own tastes, beliefs, ideas and quirks; and the larger the family the more loving and accepting we have to be of one another’s differences. We “blend” each of the individuals, quirks and all, to do our very best at being a loving and harmonious family. I am particularly blessed. Though David and I have been married over 30 years and have never had to blend two separate families, our family is larger than the “national average”. 🙂 We have five children, two son-in-laws and three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way. We also have had the great privilege to “blend” a foster-granddaughter into our family. Add in the two of us, and that’s a LOT of people to fit around a table.
Sunday dinners at our house are fantastic! Everyone shows up after church, ravenous and ready to eat. So far, we still manage to squish all of us around our one huge dining room table. For those who are used to quiet, reserved, somewhat formal meals, experiencing our family dinners might be a little disconcerting. For me, it’s HEAVEN! At any given time, there are two to four separate conversations going on and family members “hop” from one to the other, interjecting their thoughts and/or humor, and then “hop” right back to their own. There is laughter. There is noise. There is love, and there is food…lots and lots of food. With such a wide variance of ages and tastes, it can sometimes be challenging to prepare a dish that will suit every individual’s unique taste preferences and also be gluten-free, as we have one family member with that allergy. Chicken is a common recipe starter for me and I, frequently, build the rest of the meal around it.
Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken has saved me multiple times, when I needed to get a meal on the table in a hurry. This week when I was at Walmart, picking up a couple bags in the freezer section, I noticed that the Grilled and Ready Chicken had labels promoting two free movie tickets to the upcoming movie, Blended, with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. All I had to do was to snap a picture of my receipt with my phone, text or email it to Tyson and I would receive a code to redeem for two free movie tickets. Cool! I made a mental note to check out the movie trailer when I got home. It turns out the trailer was pretty amusing. The story is a comedy revolving around blending families, and with the exception of what has become Hollywood’s absurd need to interject unnecessary language and innuendo into every film, it looked like it could be very funny. One scene that had me laughing was the “first date” where they both had back-up calls planned to rescue them if things weren’t going well. Conversation was pretty awkward. He ordered something really spicy, (I think it was Buffalo Shrimp), as an appetizer, and offered some to her. Drew took a bite and her mouth was instantly on fire. She was flailing and shouting, begging for water. There was no water on the table and he ended up handing her a bowl of French Onion Soup, to cool down with. It. was. HOT. lol Needless to say they each snuck off to call in their “safety-calls”. Most of the rest of the movie takes place in Africa and involves their two families accidentally meeting and staying at the same resort, getting to know one another over the course of the trip and the relationship that builds between the two of them.
The idea of “blended families”, Africa and really spicy were all swirling around in my head, after watching that trailer. I LOVE spicy food and so do a couple others in our family, but a few others have somewhat more delicate palates, so when I prepare dishes for the whole group, I try to blend and merge those flavor preferences into the dishes I create. Since I had the Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken, I knew it would be quick and easy to make African Piri-Piri Chicken, but birds-eye chilis were not going to fly with the “not so spicy” members of our tribe. (They’re more than 28 times hotter than the serranos, I used!) I decided to create a variation of the dish that would retain all the fabulous flavor without selecting one of the hottest peppers known to man. And thus, my kinder, gentler Piri Piri Chicken was created. We loved it served with Tri-Color Quinoa and cool, refreshing Cucumber Jicama Salad. I hope you enjoy it!
My Piri-Piri Chicken went together quickly, using the Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breasts. The first thing I did was to lay the still frozen chicken out in a 9 x 13 baking pan. I set it aside and allowed it to defrost for a few minutes while I prepared the sauce.
Making the sauce was easy and I love that it makes enough to keep some in the fridge for seasoning or marinating other dishes, too. I chopped the bell pepper, took the stems off the Serranos, minced parsley and measured out the oil, vinegar and lemon juice. With the prep work done it was only a matter of placing all the sauce ingredients into the blender.
Puree the sauce until it is thick and smooth. It is a bright orange color and tastes fabulously fresh. The lemon and parsley brighten it so much and the Serranos gave it a nice “kick”, without being too hot for the kids. For the pre-cooked Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken, I poured about 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the tops of the chicken in the baking dish and let it set about 20 minutes, before baking. When using raw chicken breasts, I marinate anywhere from at least an hour to 24 hours, before baking.
The sauce recipe makes about 7 1/2 cups. How much you use depends on how many chicken breasts you are cooking. I used 1 1/2 cups for six breasts and when I make fifteen, I use a whole quart (4 cups). The sauce keeps well in the fridge for several weeks, closed up in a canning jar, and makes a nice marinade/sauce for other proteins, too. (after sitting for awhile, the oil will separate. Just give the jar a good shake and it blends back together, beautifully.) I haven’t tried it, yet, but I also think Piri-Piri Sauce would be fantastic in wraps and tacos or burritos.
With the Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken, I only had to bake it for 20 to 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven, so that it was warmed through. When baking raw chicken, the cooking time will be 45 minutes to an hour and your chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Serve Piri Piri Chicken with any of your favorite side dishes, but cool and refreshing is always a good combination with something spicy. Quinoa is another mildly-flavored dish to combine with spicy entrees.
How do you blend the varied tastes of your own family, when prepping meals? What are your greatest challenges? What kinds of recipes could we share at Busy-at-Home that would help you overcome them? Leave a comment. I’d love to try and create a recipe that would be a good “fit” for you!
- 6 or 7 Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breasts - (1) 22 oz. pkg
- 5 Serrano chili peppers
- 1 large red bell pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 Tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- Lay all the chicken breasts out in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Set aside.
- Remove stems from Serrano chilis. Place whole peppers, seeds and all, into the blender.
- Seed and chop the bell pepper. Add it to the blender.
- Add parsley leaves, paprika, garlic, pepper and salt.
- Pour in the olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice.
- Blend on high until the sauce is a thick, smooth puree.
- Pour 1½ cups of the sauce over the chicken breasts in the baking pan.
- Allow to marinate about 20 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, until chicken has cooked through.
- **Store remaining sauce in canning jars in the refrigerator. It is a beautiful sauce/marinade for other proteins like pork and fish.
To learn more about the #TysonMovieTicket offer available on specially marked packages of Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken products visit Tyson’s instruction page for redeeming your grocery receipt. #CollectiveBias