Grilled Taco Barbecue Chicken

by Cate on May 18, 2010

I felt fine yesterday.  Really I did.  Save for a few sniffles, there was nothing else going on.  And then this morning happened.  My throat was crazy sore and my glands were swollen to the point that even I could tell they were swollen (because usually I’m like “really?  they’re swollen?  who knew?”).  I felt terrible, as the body aches were starting to set in along with an old-fashioned headache for good measure.  As soon as I dropped the kids off at school, I didn’t pass Go, I didn’t collect $200, I didn’t even bother calling my doctor.  I headed straight for the CVS Minute Clinic.  They open at 8:30 and I was number two in line at 8:32.  That’s how bad I felt.

I don’t think the greeting card section of their store will ever be quite the same.  It was the only way to keep Madeline occupied for the 30 minute wait it took for me to be seen.  Diagnosis?  Strep.  As the morning progressed, I felt worse and worse.  The nurse practitioner asked me how bad the pain was on a scale of 1-5.  I always think that’s a silly question, because it’s totally subjective and depends on what you’re comparing the pain to.  I mean, really, compared to childbirth, it doesn’t even register.  But as far as sore throat pain, it was totally up there.

I think there should be some sort of unwritten rule about single moms getting sick.  It’s not like we have a pitch hitter or understudy to come and fill in for us as we’re down for the count.  As the headache worsened, and we added some chills and a general overall zap of energy, I honestly wondered how I would get through the day.  No school for Madeline.  Jamie was off (her Masters’ graduation was today), and a l-o-n-g day loomed ahead.  Madeline doesn’t exactly sit still or quietly.  And then was the matter of picking up Nick and the other carpool kids, homework, dinner, bath, bed.  I couldn’t even stand to look at food.  We need some sort of Single Mom Network, where if someone has some time and is feeling 100%, they can help out someone who is sick, get them through the dinner/bath/bed routine, and then they can cash in the favor when they need an extra hand.  Because I really needed it today.

Especially for dinnertime.  The Ex never was a fan of leftovers, unless they were completely reinvented so much that they don’t resemble the original meal.  But honestly, thank goodness for leftovers because it was my saving grace tonight.  I made this Grilled Taco-Barbecue Chicken last night when we got home from the gym, and there was just enough leftover to get the kids through dinner.  Of course, no one cooperated and there was lots of bickering, stalling and general loudness from about 3:30 until bedtime, and I was seriously counting down the minutes.  But at least the leftovers meant I managed to avoid a quick dash through a drive-thru.

This recipe comes from the same Betty Crocker magazine that yesterday’s Greek-Style Tuna Salad comes from.  The kids did all but inhale it, and given how crazysimple it is to make, that was welcome news.  One word of caution, the accompanying Barbecue Sauce is insanely spicy.  Luckily I left it on the side, so I didn’t ruin the kids’ pieces of chicken.  This is a perfect recipe to cook up a batch of and freeze.  You know, for those days when you are down for the count and just need to get through dinner.  Or just because.

It’s now exactly 8:45 pm and as soon I hit publish, I’m hitting the hay.  This is the earliest I’ve gone to bed in forever since last Friday.  But after everything that happened last week, it’s no wonder.

P.S.  Excuse the lack of pictures on the chicken, but the ones I took last night were terrible.  Just terrible.  Nobody should be subjected to that.

Project 365
May 18, 2010, Photo #97

So Close Yet So Far

Why is it so hard for dogs to actually aim for the dog bed? Don’t you think it would be more comfortable? Clearly they know something we don’t. He is walking a bit better, but still has trouble getting up from the floor, and making it up the stairs.  It is definitely 1000% better than when he was down for the count last week, but he still has a long way to go.

Grilled Taco-Barbecue Chicken
Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

2 tablespoons Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 lb) (I used breast tenders for even quicker cooking)
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1.  Heat closed medium-size contact grill for 5 minutes. In shallow bowl, mix taco seasoning mix and oregano. Brush chicken with oil; coat with taco seasoning mixture. Place chicken on grill. Close grill. Grill 4 to 6 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).
2.  Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat barbecue sauce, chili sauce and cumin to boiling over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce with chicken.

Oven Directions: Heat oven to 375°F. Line shallow baking pan with foil or spray with cooking spray. Place coated chicken in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon May 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm

get a good night’s rest and feel better asap!!


pamela May 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Awww! I hope you are feeling better soon! Take care.


thecoffeesnob May 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I can’t believe you still blogged despite feeling so sick- what a trooper you are!

Hope you feel better soon, Cate- get plenty of rest!


claire May 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Oh goodness! I hope you feel better. Did you get shot up with some penicillin? That should cure you…unless, of course, you’re allergic, then it will take a bit longer. Hope you are able to sleep long and restfully! Next time try calling another mom in the carpool group to pick the kids…I’m sure someone would be glad to help.


Merry120 May 18, 2010 at 11:55 pm

I hope you feel better soon! It is so hard for mom’s to be sick but doubly so for single moms. If I lived closer I would bring you some chicken soup!


mandy May 19, 2010 at 12:01 am

I am sorry to hear that you are feeling under the weather. I hope that you’re feeling more like yourself again soon. This recipe sounds great!


Joanne May 19, 2010 at 6:16 am

Sweetie I’m so sorry to read this! At least it’s strep and so after a day of taking meds you’ll be back to yourself again.

The chicken sounds delicious, full of flavor. And definitely a good thing to have marinating in your freezer!


paula May 19, 2010 at 8:12 am

I can completely relate. Last time I was deathly ill (with a raging sinus infection, strep and God knows what else), just a few hours into the day, Nick’s school called and I needed to pick him up (which meant packing the little guy up in the car and driving to Nick’s school which is out in no-man’s land). Luckily I had just taken a dose of whatever and I could physically manage it at the time they called (which wouldn’t have been the case most of the day). I wasn’t single but my husband works far from our town and it would have been more effort to try to reach him than to do it myself.

And both times I have been that ill in the past few years, DH had better things to do. He went to a Sportsman’s show and left me with 3-year-old Nick and a dying cat when I literally could not get off the bed. He left me with Nick and Dan the last time so he could finish his Christmas shopping (Christmas was still over a week away). Throughout the day, rolls of paper towel were unraveled and torn apart, walls were written on. I was only going to move if it was life or death. One of the many reasons he is soon to be the ex-DH.


The Neighbor Husband May 19, 2010 at 8:42 am

You should have called me. I would have come down and done dinner, bath and bed with the kids. I have mircowave leftovers. lol Please call me next time. Hope you feel better.


Kris #40 May 19, 2010 at 10:50 am

Hope you are feeling somewhat better today.


Ramona May 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Aw, sorry you’re sick. Hope you are much better. Last time I had strep, I had to take pain pills it hurt soooo bad.

Also, glad Eli is doing better.

Your chicken sounds good.


Sarah Caron May 19, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I’ve been in total focus-zone since Monday, so this is the first time I’ve checked in on you since Sunday … or early Monday. Anyway. Sorry to hear that you have strep. Hope you are doing wayyyy better today. And if you ever need a pinch hitter, I am a mere 2 hrs away!


The Neighbor Wife May 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

It was me posting under The Neighbor Husband by accident. He would help if needed, but he’s not running to volunteer to do dinner and baths for the neighborhood. The fact I wrote I can microwave should have given me away! :)


Maris (In Good Taste) May 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

I think you could be on to something with that single mom network…I bet you could get sponsors and everything!


Maris (In Good Taste) May 20, 2010 at 11:04 am

PS – Love your Neighbor Husband and Wife! Awesome that you have such great friends closeby.


Cate May 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

Maris – wouldn’t that (Single Mom Network) be awesome?

Neighbors – thanks. I nearly *did* call, but hate to bother anyone. Next time, I’ll call in the troops.

Claire – penicillin definitely did the trick. That stuff is right up there with z-pacs. Wonder drugs.

Everyone else – thanks so much! If only chicken soup and extra hands could be virtual – I’d be all set!


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