Crockpot Sweet Baby Ray’s Chicken + Kitchen Bucket List

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I’m not at all embarrassed to tell you that back in 2009, I was — like all Americans — completely obsessed with the Single Ladies song. It had absolutely everything going for it: super catchy hook, hilarious social commentary, an awesome dance, and One of The Best Videos of All Time. And it gave us one of the defining phrases of the 2000s: “put a ring on it.”

[along with “I’mma let you finish,” of course]

For a few months there, it was kindof fun to throw that around. “Hey, when are you gonna put a ring on it?” “He needs to put a ring on it.” Etc. And then one day, I saw a girl announce her engagement via twitter with the phrase, “He put a ring on it : )” And (for me at least) that’s when “put a ring on it” officially died.

Just like “put a ring on it,” another phrase that completely wore out its welcome in the last 5-10 years is “bucket list.” While I disliked how we’ve diminished “two adults have decided to commit themselves to a loving, lifelong monogamous relationship” to “put a ring on it,” I REALLY hated abbreviating “my most personal hopes, dreams, and desires for the future” as “bucket list.” This trend needs to stop.

It probably won’t stop, though, because both “bucket list” and (to a lesser extent) “put a ring on it” are pretty useful shorthand phrases. For instance, I have decided to collect all my cooking- and kitchen-related hopes, dreams, and desires for the future into one handy list, and what am I calling it? My kitchen bucket list, of course! Check it out!

This incredibly easy weeknight dinner doesn’t cross anything off of the bucket list, though. I have “make a crockpot meal on an actual workday” on there, but I made this on New Years Day while we were at the movies (seeing Les Mis!!!). I’m inching closer, people. I’m almost there.

The crockpot can be scary.

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CROCKPOT SWEET BABY RAY’S CHICKEN (slightly adapted from Stick a Fork in It)

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)
1 18-oz bottle BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s, obviously)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
dash hot sauce (optional)

Mix BBQ sauce with next five ingredients. Taste and adjust ingredients to your liking (I added a little more vinegar and hot sauce to give mine more of a bite). Place chicken in crockpot, pour sauce over it, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve chicken whole or shredded and mixed with sauce.

I shredded my chicken and served it with these crazy easy cornbread pancakes. Talk about simple!

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