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Cherry Coke Zero Chicken
Low Carb Can Be Delicious
Even if you are not one of the many people who are on a low carb diet these days, you still might want to watch your sugar intake. Why?
Well, for one thing, maybe you're like me and have a family history of diabetes. I've got it on both sides of my family. And while I don't have the symptoms of true diabetes yet, I do experience problems with hypoglycemia, and both of my gestational diabetes tests registered marginal, so I know the potential is there. I very well could develop Type II diabetes.
Diabetes is a serious disease. It can lead to all kinds of very bad effects on your body, so you don't want to mess around with it. The good news is that you can prevent it just by changing a few things about your diet now, like cutting down your sugar intake.
There are all kinds of products on the market now that can help you lead a low sugar lifestyle. One of my favorites is Coke Zero and its sister, Cherry Coke Zero. I'd used Coke Zero recently in a marinade for ham because my husband told me his mother used to pour a can of Coke (regular) over a ham before she baked it. The Coked ham did turn out to be really delicious.
I am a big chicken fan. It's pretty much the only meat I eat on a regular basis. I started to think about what would happen if I added Coke Zero to my chicken. Then I had a brainstorm. What about cherries and chicken? I'd never had cherries with chicken before, even though I love both.
I began to develop a recipe, and here it is: Cherry Coke Zero Chicken.
Ingredients for the BBQ Sauce
- 2 cups brown Splenda
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 8-ounce can Hunt’s tomato sauce
- 1 6-ounce can Hunt’s tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
How to Make the Sauce
- Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until the liquid starts to boil.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Take the pan off the burner and let it cool.
Ingredients for the Marinated Chicken
- 2 cups of the BBQ sauce
- 2 12-ounce cans of Cherry Coke Zero
- 1 cup Polaner Sugar-Free grape jelly
- 4 chicken breasts
- 15-20 dark cherries, as desired
How to Marinate the Chicken
- In a large bowl, combine the BBQ sauce, 1 can of Cherry Coke Zero, and grape jelly.
- Put the 4 chicken breasts in a large baking dish.*
- Pour the marinade on top of the chicken breasts, making sure to coat each one evenly.
- Let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
*A dutch oven works great for this recipe.
Cooking the Chicken
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge.
- Pour the second can of Cherry Coke Zero over the breasts.
- Put the dutch oven in the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes.*
- Take the chicken out of the oven, decorate with dark cherries, and serve.
*Use a meat thermometer to test the chicken. You should cook your chicken to 170 degrees for maximum safety.
Obviously, there is going to be some sugar in the dark cherries, but if you use them sparingly, it shouldn't be a problem. Besides, dark cherries are full of wonderful, healthy antioxidants. Avoid the maraschino cherries, though, because they're just full of sugar. They don't have much of the good-for-you stuff.
If serving this to Type I diabetics and other people who are really sensitive to sugar, let them know about the potential risks and perhaps serve the cherries on the side, so that everyone can choose whether they want to eat them or not.
However you serve this recipe, I hope it's as big a hit in your home as it is in mine!