Share this article

print logo


For busy parents, the scariest thing about Halloween is whether or not you'll be able to put dinner on the table before the doorbell rings. Those of us who love Halloween don't want to miss out on a single ghost.

On nights like this, it's tempting not to even bother with dinner since the kids are too excited to eat. But motherly guilt won't let me send my brood in search of sugar on an empty stomach. Barbecued chicken is one meal my little goblins will always gobble, but it takes so long to bake. This recipe is my compromise.

The barbecue sauce goes right into the skillet and turns the rice into a flavored pilaf. With green peas added, it's a convenient one-dish dinner that goes together in 20 minutes, start-to-finish. That means I'll still have time to dig out my witch hat.

Menu Stove-top Barbecued Chicken Already-peeled Baby carrots Purchased pumpkin Muffins Orange Sherbet Stove-Top Barbecued Chicken

Already-peeled baby carrots

Purchased pumpkin muffins

Orange sherbet


4boneless, skinless frozen chicken breast halves (about 1 1/3 pounds)

Cooking oil spray

1medium onion ( 3/4 cup chopped)

1can (14 1/2 -ounces) fat-free chicken broth

1 1/2 cups 5-minute rice

1tablespoon brown sugar

1tablespoon lemon juice, from frozen concentrate

1tablespoon white vinegar

1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder or 1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/4 cup ketchup

Black pepper to taste

1cup frozen green peas
Microwave the chicken breasts 3 1/2 minutes, uncovered on high, to begin defrosting. Meanwhile, spray a 12-inch, non-stick skillet that has a lid with cooking oil spray and heat it on medium. Meanwhile, peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the skillet as you chop. Begin cooking the onion, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, slice each breast into 5 or 6 strips about 3/4 of an inch wide, adding them to the skillet as you slice. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the broth and rice. Stir well, raise the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil.

Meanwhile, begin measuring the seasonings into the skillet: Add the brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic and onion powders, mustard, ketchup and black pepper to taste. Stir well. Cover the skillet. When the broth boils, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the green peas, and recover the skillet.

Continue to cook for 3 more minutes or until almost all of the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender. Serve at once. Makes 4 servings.

Approximate values per serving (using Nutritionist IV software): 346 calories (9 percent from fat), 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 73 mg cholesterol, 34 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 377 mg sodium.

How desperate are you?

Send us desperate tales of woe or everyday success stories and your favorite quick recipes to Desperation Dinners, 2212 the Circle, Raleigh, N.C. 27608 or e-mail:

There are no comments - be the first to comment