Dover Post food columnist Judi Leaming some recipes that at first she overlooked, including So Tender Barbecue Chicken, Hamburger Chili Dish and Flexible Roast Beef.

This column features recipes that would probably have been overlooked if I wasn’t absolutely desperate for supper ideas. I read cookbooks, magazines and websites constantly looking for exciting and inspiring recipes to share with you. Initially today’s recipes seemed so simple that I couldn’t believe that they would actually taste good. What a pleasant surprise to prove myself wrong.

The Gooseberry Patch cookbook “Come on Over” was published in 2004 and I’ve looked at it dozens of times since but it was only in the last month that I finally decided to try the recipe titled So Tender Barbecue Chicken. After all, how many chicken recipes does any cook need? What a surprise to find that this recipe does live up to its name of being tender and tasty.

A cookbook by Carlean Johnson that is titled “Six ingredients or less” was published in 2001 but I had overlooked the recipe called Hamburger Chili Dish because the title and ingredients just didn’t sound exciting. However on another December evening I tried this because I had the ingredients on hand and didn’t have any other inspiration. Again I realized that this recipe too offered a flavorful and quick meal that I had too long overlooked.

The third recipe came to me from Spicer’s cousin Kathy Everett via my sister-in-law Lynda who highly recommended it. Initially this sounded similar to the old chuck roast with mushroom soup and Lipton’s dry onion soup mix that made the rounds in the ’60s but Lynda had recommended this so I felt that I needed to trust her and give it a try. This is a slow cooker recipe that I think you’ll really come to rely on.


So Tender Barbecue Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup catsup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup water

6 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place chicken in an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking dish; set aside. Mix remaining ingredients together and spread over chicken. Bake in preheated 300-degree oven for 2 hours or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.


Hamburger Chili Dish

1 pound lean ground beef

2 cups coarsely chopped onion

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can small diced tomatoes with juice

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup uncooked rice (not instant)

1 cup water


In a large skillet lightly brown ground beef and onion together. If necessary, drain off any excess liquid. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes. Uncover; cook for 10 minutes more or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Serves 4. If desired, top servings with dollops of sour cream.


Flexible Roast Beef (a slow cooker recipe)

3 to 5 pound tri-tip or chuck roast, trimmed of extra fat

1 (12-ounce) bottle Heinz chili sauce

1 (12-ounce) can regular Coca-cola

1 envelope dry onion soup mix


Spray slow cooker bowl evenly with Pam and put roast in it. Mix remaining ingredients together to form a sauce and pour over the roast. Cover slow cooker. Cook on high for 60 minutes then on low for 3 to 4 hours. Judge cooking time by the size of the roast. Serve topped with sauce.