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Barbecued Chicken Thighs with Brown Sugar-Hickory Sauce

Barbecued Chicken Thighs with Brown Sugar-Hickory Sauce

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  • 1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup bottled hickory-flavor barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 12 chicken thighs with skin and bones

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring first 10 ingredients to boil in medium saucepan, whisking to blend. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

  • Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken on grill, skin side down; cook until skin browns, about 8 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue grilling until cooked through, about 8 minutes longer. Transfer 1 cup barbecue sauce to small dish. Brush skin side of chicken with sauce from dish; turn skin side down and cook 2 minutes. Brush chicken with more sauce; turn skin side up and grill 2 minutes. Arrange chicken on platter. Serve with remaining sauce.

Recipe by Paulette Sexton of Tustin CAReviews Section

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About The Time/Temp Tables

You will find time/temperature tables in most of these cooking articles. They are meant only to illustrate how easy it is to maintain and control temperature in the Weber Bullet, which I think is important for new or future WSM owners to know. You should not try to mimic the temperature patterns shown, nor do you have to measure temperature every 15-30 minutes the way I do in some of these articles.

Please enjoy browsing the items below…but don’t blame me if you start getting hungry!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend Pics and Info

Matt, Emma and I had a BUSY weekend not only with cooking but also with some home improvement projects!

After my day of slacking off (in the cooking department) I decided that I would have to have special motivation to cook on Sunday. Once my parents brought Emma back from Sunday School I invited them to have lunch with us. I made Barbecued Chicken Thighs w/ Brown Sugar-Hickory Sauce (p.248) and Spicy Black Beans w/ Onion & Bacon (p.449). We ate outside in the HEAT!! The chicken thighs were perfect, super juicy and the homemade BBQ sauce was perfect. I was a little worried because I ended up not having the chili sauce that it called for (2 cups) but I simply decided to omit that part and the recipe turned out great. In the future I would make it exactly the same way! The Black beans were also great and a little more like a stew as they were also juicy. After we got back home Matt started to assemble our purchases and I ran to Safeway to get the groceries for the week. While I was out I decided the invite my parents for dinner when they brought Emma home from the pool. So we ended up having all of our Sunday meals with them :-)
For dinner we had Castellane Pasta w/ Sausage, Peppers, cherry Tomatoes, & Morjoram (p.206), Shallot Bruschetta (p.554) and Warm Doughnuts a la mode w/ Bananas & Spiced Caramel Sauce (p.206). EVERYTHING was great and I would make it all again! I think that the dessert stole the show however!

Menu 8/10 - 8/16

The weekend was full of yummy dishes which I will write about tonight because I want to include some photos!

Bellow is my menu for this week:

Monday, 8/10
Chicken Asparagus & Broccoli Stir Fry p.281
Banana Pudding p.648
Tuesday, 8/11
Salmon w/ Chili-Mango Salsa p.304
Soft Ginger Cookies p.601
Wednesday, 8/12
Asian Pork Chops w. Bok Choy p.398
Thursday, 8/13
Fettuccine w/ Mussels & Cream p.202
Olive Oil Bruschetta p.554
Friday, 8/14
Grilled Steak w/Fresh Garden Herbs p.370
Potato Leek & Fennel Soup p.84
Rosemary Broiled Tomatoes p.474
Ice Cream w/ Sauteed Pineapple & Bourbon p.582
Saturday, 8/15
Chard Cheddar Omelet p.501
Roasted Red Pepper Soup w/ Orange Cream p.89
Pan Roasted Sizzling Shrimp p.349
Bittersweet Molten Chocolate Cakes w/ Coffee Ice Cream p.626
Sunday, 8/16
Banana Pancakes w/ Caramel Banana Syrup p.497
Mexican Style Chicken Sandwiches p.153
Avocado & Mango Salad w/ Passion Fruit Vinaigrette p.126
Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Glazed Ribs p.412
Sweet & Smoky BBQ Beans p.452
Classic Shaken Margarita p.684
Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

How To Make BBQ Sauce Without Sugar

The perfect healthy barbecue sauce is a balance of sweet, smoky, spicy, tangy, and just the right thickness. This low carb BBQ sauce is all of the above. It’s got the perfect balance of flavors, smoky undertones, and consistency.

The liquid smoke really makes the biggest difference, so don’t skip that part. Even if you have to shop online to find it.

And because you are the master of this keto BBQ sauce recipe, you can make it “just right” for whatever you are planning to use it with. While most people think it’s just right, if you need to you can make it thinner for a dipping sauce, or nice and thick to stick to grilling meats.

Since BBQ sauce is a bit sweet, you’ll swap out the sugar and/or corn syrup used in traditional sauces and even the sucralose used in a store-bought keto BBQ sauce for powdered monk fruit allulose blend (or your choice of another low carb sweetener). Take a peek at this Low Carb Sweetener Guide for a full explanation of your options when making a low carb keto recipe.

By the way, the wonderful thing about this particular sugar-free BBQ sauce is that it’s crazy easy to make! Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, then let it simmer for twenty minutes.

Totally effortless. You’re welcome.

We found at least 10 Websites Listing below when search with brown sugar chicken thighs on Search Engine

Garlic-Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs Recipe Allrecipes DA: 18 PA: 49 MOZ Rank: 67

  • Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  • Step 3 Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat

Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs PERDUE® DA: 14 PA: 43 MOZ Rank: 58

1 pkg. PERDUE ® Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs or PERDUE ® HARVESTLAND ® Free Range Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs 1/2 cup brown …

Soy-Brown Sugar-Glazed Chicken Thighs Recipe

  • Heat 10-inch ovenproof skillet or roasting pan over medium-high heat
  • Rub chicken with oil place skin side down in skillet. Sear chicken, without moving, 3 to 5 minutes or until skin is browned and chicken releases easily from skillet. 3

10 Best Brown Sugar Baked Chicken Thighs Recipes Yummly DA: 14 PA: 41 MOZ Rank: 58

salt, onion powder, olive oil, paprika, brown sugar, pepper, chicken thighs and 1 more Oven Baked Chicken Thighs Tip Buzz salt, soy sauce, chicken thighs, vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil and 3 more Vietnamese Style Baked Chicken Thighs

Chicken Thighs with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe MyRecipes DA: 17 PA: 40 MOZ Rank: 61

  • Combine brown sugar, mustard, and garlic in a shallow bowl
  • Toss chicken in mixture, coating on all sides
  • When 10 minutes remaining, remove chicken from oven and top each piece with a pat of butter (1/2 T each)

10 Best Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs Recipes Yummly DA: 14 PA: 35 MOZ Rank: 54

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs Tastefulventure salt, honey, ground ginger, garlic, pepper, coconut oil, bone in chicken thighs and 1 more Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs Food Hussy boneless, skinless chicken thighs, salt, dried thyme, freshly ground black pepper and 7 more

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Brown Sugar Glaze DA: 12 PA: 42 MOZ Rank: 60

  • Whisk soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, oil, vinegar, hot sauce, garlic, basil, ginger, and pepper in a mixing bowl
  • Reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade mixture for later use pour the remaining of the marinade mixture over the chicken thighs
  • Cover and place chicken thighs in the fridge for 30 minutes, and up to 4 hours.

Carla Hall's Brown Sugar Baked Chicken Rachael Ray Show

  • Mix the brown sugar, coriander, cayenne, lime zest and juice, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl
  • Add the chicken and toss until evenly coated

Brown Sugar Smoked Chicken Thighs Recipe DA: 15 PA: 35 MOZ Rank: 58

How to Make Brown Sugar Smoked Chicken Thighs: Mix the brine by combining warm water, kosher salt, peppercorns, fresh garlic cloves and half of a lemon in a large bowl or dutch oven …

3-Ingredient Brown Sugar Italian Chicken

  • Combine the brown sugar and Italian dressing mix
  • Coat both sides of the chicken with the brown sugar mixture
  • Top chicken with any remaining brown sugar

Glazed Soy Sauce Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs

  • Place the chicken thighs in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet
  • Saute the thighs 3 -5 minutes without moving them until skin is lightly browned
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate, pour off any drippings from frying.

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Recipe by Tasty DA: 8 PA: 34 MOZ Rank: 53

  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat, and add the chicken skin side down

Asian Chicken Thighs Recipe: How to Make It Taste of Home DA: 19 PA: 30 MOZ Rank: 61

  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat
  • Add chicken cook until golden brown, 8-10 minutes on each side
  • In a small bowl, whisk water, brown sugar, orange juice, soy …

Sweet and Spicy Boneless Chicken Thighs

  • These Sweet and Spicy boneless Chicken thighs are incredibly delicious and made on the stovetop
  • The sweet-savoury dry spice is a blend of brown sugar and other spices
  • This easy 15-minute recipe qualifies as a perfect midweek dinner.

Chicken Thighs with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe Moms Who Think

  • Brown sugar marinades for chicken thighs is reminiscent of a popular Hawaiian dish called shoyu chicken
  • Sold by street vendors, shoyu chicken is savory and flavorful

Ninja Foodi Grill Grilled Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken Thighs

  • Instructions In a bowl mix together soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, & garlic
  • Set aside 1/4 cup for using later when serving
  • Poke thighs with a fork creating little pockets for the marinade to soak into.

Easy Keto Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken Thighs

  • These keto brown sugar garlic chicken thighs are full of sweet, spicy flavor and are super easy to make
  • You just need 5 ingredients and they are done in 30 minutes with only 1.6g net carbs

Recipe: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs

  • Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium high heat
  • Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side set aside.

10 Best Honey and Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken Recipes Yummly DA: 14 PA: 45 MOZ Rank: 77

Soy-Brown Sugar-Glazed Chicken Thighs Betty Crocker bone, vegetable oil, garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ground ginger and 1 more Brown Sugar Pound Cake Crisco vanilla extract, firmly packed light brown sugar, salt, milk and 13 more

Deep South Dish: Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken

  • Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken Chicken thighs, simply seasoned and slow cooked in the crockpot with a mixture of pineapple juice, brown sugar and soy sauce, that is thickened and brushed on as a finishing glaze

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs

  • Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add chicken, skin-side down, and sear until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side
  • Melt remaining butter in the skillet
  • Add garlic cook and stir until fragrant.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs Recipe Magic Skillet

  • Top with chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chopped garlic, and salt
  • Mix well and pour sauce over chicken in slow cooker
  • Cover the cooker and cook on low-heat setting for 10-12 hours or until chicken and vegetables are cooked through.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

  • Add the chicken, salt, pepper and garlic to the slow cooker
  • Mix it up then flip the chicken skin side up
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Instant Pot Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Little Sunny Kitchen

  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper
  • On the Instant Pot, press on SAUTE, add the oil and melt the butter
  • Brown the chicken starting skin side down, flip and brown it from the other side
  • When the chicken is golden brown, remove from the pot and set aside.

Skillet Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

  • In a small bowl, add the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and pepper
  • Place the chicken in a large sealable plastic food storage bag
  • Pour the sauce into the bag with the chicken
  • Gently massage and roll the chicken around in the bag to get it evenly coated in sauce.

Air Fryer Chicken Thighs with Brown Sugar and Spices

  • Instructions Mix together the brown sugar and spices and rub them on the top and bottom of the chicken thighs
  • I usually put half the thighs into a bowl, shake half the spice mix over them and …

Barbecued Chicken Thighs with Brown Sugar-Hickory Sauce DA: 18 PA: 50 MOZ Rank: 94

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat)
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper
  • Place chicken on grill, skin side down cook until skin browns, about 8 …

“One Sheet” Brown Sugar, Dijon Chicken

Instructions In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce until evenly combined Add the chicken into the bowl and coat with the marinade Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken Allrecipes DA: 18 PA: 43 MOZ Rank: 89

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, deep, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until almost smoking hot
  • Add chicken and brown well on both sides, about 5 minutes, working in batches if necessary

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs Recipe- Beyer Beware DA: 19 PA: 40 MOZ Rank: 88

  • Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Ingredients
  • The ingredients are what the title explains: garlic, brown sugar, and chicken
  • Add some salt and pepper for good measure
  • But in all seriousness here are the exact ingredients you need to make the juiciest boneless, skinless chicken thigh recipe.


  • This recipe features baked chicken thighs in a delicious sticky garlic brown sugar sauce
  • An easy , delicious one pan chicken dinner

Cajun & Brown Sugar Grilled Chicken Thighs DariusCooks.TV DA: 14 PA: 42 MOZ Rank: 87

  • 2 teaspoons of dark brown sugar
  • In a bowl, mix together the chicken and the olive oil
  • Then, in a separate bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the rub
  • Then, liberally sprinkle the rub over the chicken and let marinate for about 30 minutes
  • To cook, place on a hot grill and cook on both sides until the

Paprika Baked Chicken Thighs Preheat oven to 450°F with the baking rack in the middle Remove the skin and trim off any fat off the chicken thighs Add the 8 chicken thighs (

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From onion ring to diamond ring.

Now for a bit of honesty… This blog first started as a way to “land my man.” You always hear that the way to a man is through his stomach and I figured that I might as well try this method as I have nothing to lose. Matt and I have been together for over two years and he first won me over by surprising me with a gourmet meal of stuffed chicken and potatoes so maybe I can win him over by cooking for him -) Bellow are a few blog names that the creative Tory Maguire came up with (she is amazing).

Cooking for Love
For the Love of Cooking
Cooking My Way into His Heart
A Cooking Guide to Getting Engaged
Feed Him like a King to Get the Ring
A cooking lesson to get him to ask the question
From the shopping cart to his heart
A cooking guide to getting hitched
From onion ring to diamond ring
Chow to make him go wow
Food, Laughter and Happily Ever After
Cook, Love and Be Married
A pan to land a man, a pot to tie the knot

As you already know I have gone with Food, Laughter and Happily Ever After so that I can continue the blog after my year long cooking project and after hopefully landing my man :-) I hope that you all get as much of a laugh out of the blog titles as I did when I asked Tory for help!

I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

Menu Description: “Fried jalapeno coins, house-made-salsa, pepper-Jack, lettuce, tomatoes, and chipotle aioli.”

This 570-unit full-service chain has a sizeable menu, but it’s the thick 1/3-pound gourmet hamburgers, like this boomin’ bestseller, that bring in the crowds. And if you’re a burger lover who enjoys burgers that bite back, this is the hack for you.

To assemble your own version of this big beauty, I’ll first show you (with photos) how to make perfect crispy jalapeno coins and a simple chipotle aioli. The seasoning formula for the beef patty that I’m including here is an updated and improved version of the secret sprinkle I hacked years ago, but this time we’ll use easier-to-find ingredients.

Once you’ve prepped these components, it’s time to kick up the flames and grill some burgers. Top your burgers with pepper-Jack cheese, and assemble everything on sesame seed buns along with salsa, lettuce, and tomato. Then open wide.

Look here for more of your favorite dishes from Red Robin, Yummm.

It’s about time for Top Secret Recipes to hack one of Starbucks all-time bestselling baked snacks. For this banana bread knock-off, I settled on a blend of both baking powder and baking soda for a good crumb and dark crust that perfectly resembles the original. And I decided it best to go big on the dark brown sugar, not only for flavor but also because the extra molasses in the darker brown sugar triggers a helpful leavening boost from the baking soda. It’s also important to know that an accurate clone must have both walnuts and pecans in the mix, because that’s what’s really in it, according to the official Starbucks website ingredients info. All other copycats I saw got it wrong when it came to the nut blend, so if you want a true clone, this is the hack to bake.

I've cloned a ton of drinks and treats from Starbucks. See if I hacked your favorite here.

Taco Bell’s popular Cinnamon Twists are inspired by a traditional Mexican treat made by frying duros de harina until puffy, then sprinkling the crunchy spirals with cinnamon/sugar. Duros, or duritos, is a special pasta made with wheat flour and cornmeal or cornstarch that swells up in seconds in hot oil, transforming it into a light and crispy snack.

You can find duros in many shapes at Latin markets or online, but for this hack you want spirals that look like rotini. Most duros you find will likely be saltier and denser than what Taco Bell uses since the chain created a custom recipe for American palates.

It takes just 10 to 15 seconds for the pasta to puff up in the oil—it will be sudden and dramatic and the duros crisps will float to the top. When they do, gently poke at them, and stir them around in the hot oil until they are evenly cooked. It only takes about a minute to fry each batch.

Watch me make these tasty twists in this new video!

Find more of my Taco Bell copycat recipes here.

As Pizza Hut veers away from salads it’s becoming harder to find their popular Italian dressing. Perhaps this is why we’ve been getting an increasing number of requests here to hack the endangered classic salad sauce before it becomes extinct. When a search for the salad dressing here in Las Vegas hit a dead end I was thankful for a TSR fan in Pennsylvania who was able to send me a giant 1-gallon bottle of the stuff that should last me though most of the decade.

Sure, it’s a lot of dressing, but the benefit of having an official bottle is that it comes with an official list of ingredients on the label. That was certainly helpful and informative, although I opted to not include the propylene glycol alginate (ick!) and xanthan gum in my version and kept it to simply basic ingredients, plus MSG. Monosodium glutamate is practically as safe as salt and it’s an important part of the umami flavor found in the original. A respectable clone cannot be made without this important ingredient, so include it if you want a perfect match. You can find MSG in stores in the spice aisle under the brand-name Ac’cent or in bulk online.

You might also want to try my clone recipe for Pizza Hut Pan Pizza.

A popular staple of any Chinese chain is the fried rice so it better be good, and the version served at Panda Express most certainly is. Here's an easy hack when you need a stress-free, low-cost side for your entrées. But I do suggest that you cook the white rice several hours or even a day or two before you plan to make the finished dish. I found that the cooked rice called for in this recipe works best when it's cold.

As for a shortcut, bagged frozen peas and carrots will save you from the hassle of petite-dicing carrots since the carrots in those bags are the perfect size to produce an identical clone. And they're already cooked.

Now, how about some Honey Walnut Shrimp, or Beijing Beef to go with that rice? Find all my Panda Express copycat recipes here.

In November 2020, Taco Bell said “adios” to several classic items from their menu including Mexican Pizza—one of my long-time favorites—and anything with shredded chicken in it including the chicken soft taco. But teary goodbyes from fans of the tasty spiced chicken can be avoided if we have a good (and easy) recipe to craft a duplicate at home. Since the fast Mexican chain announced the changes several months in advance, I had time to work up a good hack before the tacos were gone forever.

After cooking the chicken several ways I settled on poaching the fillets in chicken broth, which kept them moist and added great umami flavor. When the chicken cooled, I shredded it, and added it to a sauce seasoned with spices and lime juice, and flavored with Knorr tomato chicken bouillon.

As the sauce thickens it will reduce and infuse the chicken with flavor, then it’s ready for you to use on tacos, burritos, salads, or whatever. And don't forget the hot sauce!

The Scoville heat rating of bhut jolokia, more commonly known as ghost pepper, is just over 1 million units, making it 200 times hotter than a jalapeno. But that didn’t stop Popeyes from creating an eye-watering breading for their scorching new crispy wings. Yes, these are seriously spicy wings, but they’re not so extreme as to be inedible, and the awesome flavor is guaranteed to tempt you back for more. Don't be scared.

The hack for these breaded blazers starts by brining the wing segments in a buttermilk and pepper sauce marinade. Salt, MSG, and cayenne pepper sauce will fill the wings with flavor, and the breading, with a decent amount of ground ghost pepper in it, will bring on the sting. Ghost pepper has been quickly growing in popularity over the last several years, and you should have no trouble finding ground ghost pepper online. Even brick-and-mortar grocery stores are stocking it.

Still, ghost pepper is crazy hot, so be careful with it. You may even want to use gloves when breading these wings. Especially if you’ll need clean fingers later for putting in a contact lens, holding a baby, or any other activity not favorable to ferociously spicy digits.

Get my secret recipes for all your favorite Popeye's food here.

Menu Description: “Sauteed chicken, shrimp, red bell peppers in a spicy Cajun Alfredo sauce, Parmesan-Romano and fettuccine. Served with a warm garlic breadstick.”

In 1997, I published a clone recipe for T.G.I Friday’s Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta because it was one of the chain’s most popular dishes at the time. But as the years pass and menus get tweaked, old food favorites are decommissioned to make way for fresh, new ideas. Sometimes the new dishes are twists on old favorites, as is this improved version of the classic Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta, which now includes extra-large shrimp and a better spicy alfredo sauce.

To make a home clone of this top entrée from T.G.I. Friday’s start with a quick brine for moist, flavorful chicken. Prep the chicken and creamy sauce in one pan the shrimp, bell pepper, and garlic in another.

When you’re ready to serve the dish, toss the sauce with the pasta, then plate it and top it with minced parsley and you've got a perfect restaurant-style hack.

There's a lot more T.G.I. Friday's clone recipes over here.

Popeyes offers two sides with rice: the ultra-popular Red Beans and Rice, which I previously cloned here, and this rice made Cajun-style with ground beef and spices.

The real recipe at the chain most likely includes chicken gizzard, but that ingredient is not always easy to find outside of buying a whole uncooked chicken that includes a bag of giblets tucked inside. So I set out to design a recipe without that ingredient and the results were great.

The secret to the fabulous taste, after all, is not found in the gizzard, but in the flavors contributed by the “holy trinity” of green pepper, onion, and celery salt accentuated by the ground thyme and oregano.

If you’re making rice tonight, bump it up to something special with just a little extra work for delicious results.

Can't get enough Popeyes? Find all of my recipes here.

It’s a good thing that Panera’s delicious tomato soup is made with pear tomatoes so we can use canned San Marzano-style tomatoes for a quick and easy hack, and we’ll pump up the tomato flavor with added tomato paste.

Other hacks will call for some form of broth here, but the broth is unnecessary and it's not in the real thing so a good clone recipe wouldn't include it. There is plenty of flavorful liquid in the canned tomatoes and we’ll sculpt the final flavor with herbs and spices, sugar, and lemon juice.

You can buy premade croutons to use on top of your soup, but I’ve also included an easy hack to make black pepper croutons from focaccia or ciabatta bread just like those you get at the restaurant.

Check here for more of my Panera Bread copycat recipes.

I’ve yet to taste a better habanero salsa at a quick-service Mexican chain than the one made daily at Qdoba Mexican Eats. Yes, it is very spicy, but the simple combo of fire-roasted habanero, tomatillo, and garlic is not as fiery as you might expect from a salsa that includes so much habanero in it.

And that’s exactly what makes this salsa so good. Because the habanero peppers are roasted, and the seeds are removed, you can enjoy the complex flavor of the habanero without your taste buds being numbed by the heat. A good salsa should enhance your food, not upstage it.

You can roast the peppers in your oven or by holding them over the high flame of a gas stove with a skewer until the skins have charred to black. Resting the blackened peppers in a covered container for a few minutes will help to steam the skins, and they will wash off easily under cold water.

How about using this salsa to spice up some Qdoba Grilled Chicken Adobo? Ger my recipe here.

There are many acceptable ways to formulate good queso, but to make this specific queso the ingredients must be correct, and most copycat recipes seem to get it wrong. A few recipes get one of the peppers and two of the cheeses right, but pretty much every recipe out there is a bit of a mess that I will now save you from.

Quesos can be made with a variety of cheeses that include queso fresco, asadero, and Muenster, but this particular queso includes a cheese you probably didn’t expect: Swiss. That cheese is slow to melt, so we’ll shred it first, along with the Jack. And you won't need to gum up the queso with flour or cornstarch by making a roux because the white American cheese in the mix contains sodium citrate or sodium phosphate—additives that help the cheese melt smoothly and stay that way.

Authors of recipes that call for tomatoes in this dish haven’t looked closely. Those are red bell peppers and they are roasted, peeled, and seeded along with the poblano and jalapenos before they are diced and added to the cheese sauce. The sauce cooks on low heat, never bubbling, so that it stays smooth and creamy.

When done, the queso might seem thin in the pan, but it will thicken as it cools to a perfect consistency for dipping tortilla chips, or as a topping for tacos and burrito bowls.

One of two pasta dishes currently on the pizza giant’s menu, the Meaty Marinara Pasta was first introduced in a 2008 April Fool’s publicity stunt when Pizza Hut claimed it was changing its name to “Pasta Hut.” No one fell for the prank but they did fall for the pasta, and that's why the Tuscani Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta and Meaty Marinara Pasta have been on the menu ever since. The sauce is the big secret here it's simple and classic, but customized to produce a marinara with that distinct Pizza Hut taste. And the recipe will make more than enough pasta to go around.

The hack is an easy one. After browning the seasoned beef you add it to the sauce, simmer the sauce until thick, then spread it over one pound of rotini pasta in a baking dish in two layers so that every bite is filled with flavor. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top and melt it until golden brown under your broiler. Boom! No one can resist. You rule.

This simple and inexpensive meal will feed eight, and leftovers keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Also check out my clone recipe for Pizza Hut Tuscani Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta.

The ridiculously popular crispy chicken sandwich at Popeyes comes with your choice of regular mayonnaise or kicked-up spicy mayonnaise. Fortunately, I was able to hack the sandwich before it sold out just a couple weeks after its debut (get the recipe here), but that recipe includes just plain mayonnaise. Recently I had the chance to hack the secret spicy mayonnaise, and I’m glad I did. Popeyes chicken sandwich with regular mayonnaise is crazy good, but with spicy mayonnaise, that sandwich is great.

You can use this sauce on a variety of sandwiches and burgers, or as a dip for chicken fingers, nuggets, and fried shrimp.

Check out my other Popeyes clone recipes for their famous red beans and rice, buttermilk biscuits and fried chicken.

Menu Description: “Honey Sesame Chicken Breast is made with thin, crispy strips of all-white meat chicken tossed with fresh-cut string beans, crisp yellow bell peppers in a sizzling hot wok with our new delicious honey sauce and topped off with sesame seeds.”

The limited-time-only availability of this entree is unfortunate for those who claim it as their top choice at America’s biggest fast Chinese chain. But now, with this Top Secret Recipe, you can make your own version of honey sesame chicken breast anytime you want, and it won’t matter when the real one goes away.

The success of this clone depends almost entirely on how good the sauce is. The sauce needs to be sweet, but when I used too much honey the honey flavor overpowered the dish, so it was clear that some of the sweetness would have to come from sugar. Eventually, I found the right balance for a good sauce hack: sweet, salty, and sour, with a light back-end hit of red pepper.

For the batter, I tweaked the coating in my hack for Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp, increasing the yield of the batter, so you won’t run out.

After your sauce is done and the chicken is finished, build the dish by tossing green beans, yellow bell peppers and crispy chicken in a wok or large sauté pan with the sauce, then spoon it over rice, and grab some chopsticks.

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When Taco Bell introduced breakfast to America in 2014, the company had high hopes for its new Waffle Taco: a waffle shaped like a taco, filled with scrambled eggs and sausage, and served with a side of syrup. But the Waffle Taco had less-than-stellar sales and the product was eventually yanked off the breakfast menu.

But another clever morning item, the Breakfast Crunchwrap, continues to sell well at the Mexican food chain. This hexagonal grill-pressed wrap is a variation of the Crunchwrap Supreme, made by wrapping a large flour tortilla around a crispy corn tortilla, meat, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato (i hacked it in TSR Step-by-Step). When it was introduced in 2005, the Crunchwrap Supreme was Taco Bell’s most successful new product launch.

The Breakfast Crunchwrap looks exactly like a Crunchwrap Supreme from the outside—albeit slightly smaller—but the inside has been swapped out for morning food. The flour tortilla is wrapped around a crispy hash brown patty that’s been slathered with creamy jalapeño sauce and topped with cheese, eggs, and bacon (or sausage). The flour tortilla is folded over six times to make a pinwheel wrap, then the wrap is pressed on a flat grill until golden brown on both sides.

In this recipe I’ll show you how to clone the creamy jalapeño sauce, build the wraps, and flat grill them until golden brown using just your stovetop, a skillet, and a saucepan half-full of water.

I never thought dinner rolls were something I could get excited about until I got my hand into the breadbasket at Texas Roadhouse. The rolls are fresh out of the oven and they hit the table when you do, so there’s no waiting to tear into a magnificently gooey sweet roll topped with soft cinnamon butter. The first bite you take will make you think of a fresh cinnamon roll, and then you can’t stop eating it. And when the first roll’s gone, you are powerless to resist grabbing for just one more. But it’s never just one more. It’s two or three more, plus a few extra to take home for tomorrow.

Discovering the secret to making rolls at home that taste as good as the real ones involved making numerous batches of dough, each one sweeter than the last (sweetened with sugar, not honey—I checked), until a very sticky batch, proofed for 2 hours, produced exactly what I was looking for. You can make the dough with a stand mixer or a handheld one, the only difference being that you must knead the dough by hand without a stand mixer. When working with the dough add a little bit of flour at a time to keep it from sticking, and just know that the dough will be less sticky and more workable after the first rise.

Roll the dough out and measure it as specified here, and after a final proofing and a quick bake—plus a generous brushing of butter on the tops—you will produce dinner rolls that look and taste just like the best rolls I’ve had at any famous American dinner chain.

Taco Bell has two green sauces mentioned on its website. One is a green chili sauce, which isn’t served at any Taco Bell I’ve been to. The other is a green tomatillo sauce, the most popular of the two, which can be ordered on any Taco Bell item or will be provided a la carte for you to pour on as you see fit. The tomatillo sauce, with its mild heat and bright tomatillo flavor, is the one we’re hacking here.

It appears that Taco Bell uses canned peppers and tomatillos for their recipe, which is great because canned ingredients are ready to use, they add additional flavors and the acidity we need, and they simplify the recipe. Fresh produce would certainly require much more wrangling.

The recipe is easy. Just pop everything into a blender in the order prescribed and blend away, but don’t blend so much that the seeds get pulverized. You want a sauce that isn’t completely pureed, with visible small pieces of peppers and seeds. You’ll end up with 1½ cups of the tasty green stuff to use on tacos, burritos, salads, eggs, and more.

Be sure to warm up the sauce a little before you use it (they keep it in a warmer at Taco Bell). The flavor of the real thing is fairly mild, so if you want your version hotter than that, just add more jalapeños to the blender.

When Popeyes debuted its new crispy chicken sandwich on August 12, 2019, the company was not prepared for the eruption of social media video posts comparing the new sandwich to Chick-fil-A’s classic chicken sandwich. As a result of the apparently unplanned instant viral campaign in which Popeyes almost always emerges as the winner, customers swarmed the stores and waited in long lines to try the now-famous sandwich. The buzz continued to build day by day, and just two weeks after its debut, the sandwich had sold out—a full month ahead of schedule.

But sold out or not, you don’t need Popeyes to get the great taste combo of the crispy buttermilk breaded chicken breast, soft buttered brioche bun, mayo, and pickles. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on several of the sandwiches before they were gone and cranked out a Popeyes Chicken Sandwich copycat recipe so you can now know how to make the Popeyes fried chicken sandwich any time you want. With these new tricks you’ll be able to make crispy chicken at home that’s flavorful, juicy, and tender, just like Popeyes, coated in a thick golden breading with the same light crunch.

The secret to moist, tasty chicken is to brine it for several hours in a spicy mixture of buttermilk, pepper sauce, salt, and MSG. The buttermilk is slightly acidic, so it will help tenderize the chicken without making it too tough like harsher acids, while the salt enhances the flavor (as does the MSG) and keeps the chicken juicy. The MSG (monosodium glutamate) is an amino acid with a salt-like flavor that at one time was thought to be unhealthy, but is now considered an important culinary additive. Popeyes uses it in their chicken because it provides an essential savory flavor called “umami,” and you cannot make an accurate clone without it.

To imitate the light, crispy breading, we’ll use baking powder in the flour. The baking powder forms bubbles in the flour when the chicken cooks so that the breading is tender and crispy, rather than crusty and dense. I found that self-rising flour works great since it conveniently has just the right amount of baking powder and salt already added. But don't use a low-protein self-rising flour like White Lily. That brand is awesome for biscuits, but its low gluten content makes it not stick well on chicken breasts. I used Gold Medal self-rising flour, and it worked great. If all-purpose flour is all you’ve got, that can work as well. I’ve put measurements for using all-purpose flour, plus baking powder and salt, in the Tidbits below. If you'd like to kick up your Popeyes Chicken Sandwich copycat recipe, clone the spicier version by replacing the plain mayo with my easy hack for Popeyes Spicy Mayonnaise.

In January of 2017, Starbucks perfected slow-cooked sous vide–style egg snacks that can be prepped and served quickly by the baristas at any location. To speed up service, Starbucks makes the egg pucks ahead of time, then freezes and ships them to the coffee stores where they are defrosted and reheated in blazing-hot convection ovens.

Sous vide refers to the method of cooking food sealed in bags or jars at a low, consistent temperature for a long time. This technique creates food that’s softer in texture and less dried out than food cooked with other, faster methods. Cooks who use sous vide will often vacuum pack their food in bags and use special machines to regulate temperature. But you won’t need an expensive machine like that for this recipe—just some 8-ounce canning jars and a blender.

The secret to duplicating the smooth texture starts with blending the cheeses very well until no lumps remain. Rub some of the cheese mixture between your fingers to make sure it’s smooth before you pour it into the jars. It’s also important to monitor the temperature of the water. Try to keep it between 170 and 180 degrees F so that your eggs are neither too tough nor too soft. It’s best to use a cooking thermometer for this, but if you don’t have one, the right temperature is just below where you see tiny bubbles rising to the surface. Also, if you hear the jars jiggling in the water, that’s their way of telling you the water is a bit too hot.

You might also like my version of Starbucks Egg White and Roasted Red Pepper Sous Vide Egg Bites.

The same slow-cooking technique is used to copy this yolk-less companion to the Bacon & Gruyere Sous Vide Egg Bites, but instead of bacon, this version comes with roasted red pepper, green onion, and spinach.

Because there is no yolk, a little rice flour is used to help hold everything together. I suspect Starbucks chose rice flour to keep the product gluten-free, even though most people really don’t mind a little gluten, and gluten does a much better job of binding. I include the rice flour here but you can substitute with all-purpose wheat flour if gluten isn't a concern, and if you don’t feel like buying a whole bag of rice flour just to use 2 teaspoons out of it.

To get the same smooth texture in your egg bites as Starbucks, be sure to blend the mixture until no bits of cheese can be felt when you rub some between your fingers. The recipe tastes best with full-fat cottage cheese, but you can still use low-fat cottage cheese if you feel like trimming some of the fat.

Check out my other clone recipes for your favorite Starbucks drinks and baked goods here.

The 729-unit chain did not start its life as Qdoba. When the Mexican food chain was first founded by Robert Miller and Anthony Hauser in Denver, Colorado in 1995, it was called Zuma Mexican Grill, named after a friend’s cat. As it turned out, a restaurant in Boston had that same name and threatened to sue, so the partners changed the name to Z-Teca. It wasn’t long before two different restaurants threatened to sue for that name—Z’Tejas in Arizona and Azteca in Washington—and the partners were forced to change the name yet again. This time they called their restaurant Qdoba, a completely made-up name that was unlikely to be used by anyone else.

A signature item and consistent top seller is this marinated adobo chicken, offered as a main ingredient in most of the chain’s selections. Make this chicken by marinating thigh meat for a couple of days in the secret adobo sauce (a worker there told me they let it soak for up to 8 days), then grill and chop. Use the flavorful chicken in burritos, tacos, bowls, on nachos, and in tortilla soup.

I bet your craving some Qdoba Fiery Habanero Salsa right about now. Get my recipe here.

If you want a tortilla soup that’s vegan (without the garnishes), this is the recipe for you. Unlike most tortilla soup recipes, Qdoba doesn’t use chicken broth for the soup base. So I tried vegetable broth, but every variety I tried threw the whole recipe off, and I was about to give up. As a last resort, I tried the soup again with Knorr vegetable bouillon cubes, and…bingo. The bouillon added the perfect flavor, and all was good in the world.

For this soup, you’ll need to roast some peppers, but after that the recipe is a straightforward chop-and-simmer, and you should have a very easy time with it.

This soup gets garnished with sour cream, shredded cheese and fried tortilla strips, but you can upgrade your soup by adding chopped adobo chicken (from the TSR version of Qdoba Adobo Chicken, black beans, rice, pico de gallo, and minced cilantro. Now you’ve just cloned the chain’s Loaded Tortilla Soup, and you’re a better person because of it.

This 220-unit downscaled version of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro targets the lunch crowd with a smaller menu that features bento boxes, bowls, and small plates. The bestseller on the menu is this orange chicken, which I have to say is pretty damn good orange chicken. Obviously, a clone is needed for this one, stat.

The name “Wei Better Orange Chicken” is a competitive callout to Panda Express's signature orange chicken, which is made with pre-breaded and frozen chicken. Pei Wei claims its orange chicken is prepared each day from scratch with chicken that is never frozen, so we’ll craft our clone the same way. But rather than assemble the dish in a wok over a high-flame fast stove like they do at the restaurant, we’ll prepare the sauce and chicken separately, then toss them with fresh orange wedges just before serving.

By the way, this dish goes very well with white or brown rice, so don’t forget to make some.

I like making fortune cookies because it means I get to write fortunes. My fortunes are sometimes ridiculous (“No matter what, be sure you don’t…ah, never mind. Have a cookie.”), sometimes sarcastic (“Wow, you broke a cookie! Have you been working out?”), and sometimes paradoxical (“These cookies are filled with lies.”). But’s let’s face it, the fortune isn't the best part. What matters most is that the cookie tastes good.

Contrary to popular belief, fortune cookies are not from China. They don’t even serve them in China. Fortune cookies are an American invention, created either in San Francisco or Los Angeles in the early 1900s—the exact origin is in dispute. Originally, I set out to clone the best-selling fortune cookie in the U.S., called Golden Bowl, made by Wonton Foods. But I found out that I don’t like those cookies. They're thin and tasteless and have an unnatural orange tint to them. Instead, I chose to hack the thicker, tastier, golden brown fortune cookies you get at the largest Chinese take-out chain.

Fortune cookies start their life looking like pancake batter. The batter is formed into 3-inch circles that, when baked, become thin cookies. These are pliable when warm and crispy when cool—so you’ll need to work fast when forming them. Because they’re so thin, it’s best to bake the cookies on a silicone pad or nonstick foil. You can also use parchment paper, but it tends to ripple from the moisture of the batter, and that ripple shows up on the surface of the cookies.

I suggest baking just three or four cookies at a time so that they'll all be warm and pliable while you add the fortunes and shape them. And if you're very fortunate, you can find a helpful someone to assist you with that part, so you'll be able to make more cookies faster.

Forty-five years ago, chicken and waffles sounded like an unusual combination to most people, but not to Herb Hudson. He loved the dish so much when he lived in Harlem, New York, where it was created, that he brought it west in 1975 to Long Beach, California, and turned the concept into a chain of seven legendary Los Angeles restaurants that were successful for decades.

But Roscoe’s has recently fallen on hard times. reported in January 2018 that the chain had declared bankruptcy and owed $27 million. Snoop Dogg, known over the years for claiming Roscoe’s as his favorite restaurant, told TMZ that he was going to buy the chain and call it Snoop Dogg’s Chicken ‘N Waffles. That deal never happened.

I’m not sure what’s in the cards for Roscoe’s, but I thought it might be a good idea to head out to the Roscoe’s on Gower in LA and do a little hacking, and the sooner, the better. Once there, I ordered plenty of extra chicken and waffles to go, popped them into the cooler, then headed back to Vegas and got to work.

The chicken at Roscoe’s is Southern-style, which usually means the chicken is soaked in buttermilk, but several workers there insisted that wasn’t the case. So instead, I brined the chicken in a simple salt solution and was pleased to discover that it tasted like theirs. By peeking into the kitchen I observed that Roscoe’s chicken is pan-fried, which is a very Southern thing to do with chicken, so we’ll do the same with our clone. My waiter claimed they use canola oil.

As for the waffles, they’re made special with a secret combination of spices added to the batter. I noted a strong taste of cinnamon and vanilla, with just a dash of nutmeg. To be sure, I confirmed these three ingredients with a very helpful server from another table who was proud to talk about the recipe, and even high-fived me when I called out the correct secret ingredients.

Want more famous fried chicken recipes? Check out my KFC copycat recipes here.


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