Your best friend (or sister, daughter, cousin, etc) just had a baby! You are excited to visit, and also to help the new family in any way that you can. One thing that I always tell people is that you should never visit a new family empty handed (or without intention to help in some way once you arrive). In the early days as a new parent, life is totally consumed with healing, adjusting to new sleep expectations, and getting to know the new person who just joined the family! Any other tasks should be taken over by visiting loved ones if at all possible. One easy way to help is to bring a meal when you visit. You don’t have to be a master chef to do this! I am here to tell you about easy and nutritious recipes that you can bring with you on these visits. Today I will be sharing one of my go-to recipes for meal drop offs: Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches with a simple salad. This recipe is quick, make-ahead-friendly, and easy for new parents to scarf quickly while the baby takes a 2 minute nap. Bonus: I also love to make this for parties, so keep it in your back pocket for last minute summer get-togethers!
Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
For the Chicken:
This is embarrassingly simple…All you are going to do is poach a few chicken breasts, and cover them in barbecue sauce. Here we go…
To poach chicken breast:
Place 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts in a single layer at the bottom of a 2-4 quart pot. Cover the chicken with water by at least an inch. You can add aromatics like onions and garlic if you’d like, but you don’t need to. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once the water starts boiling turn the heat down to low and allow the chicken to simmer. After about 8 minutes you can begin checking the internal temperature of the chicken. Once it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it is ready to go.
Once you have poached the chicken, simply shred it using two forks, add enough of your favorite barbecue sauce to coat the chicken, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To complete the meal:
Add some fancy buns, either store-bought, or homemade if you are feeling adventurous. I love this recipe for homemade hamburger buns. They come together quickly, and are so delicious. Make a double batch and keep some for yourself. They make a great base for breakfast sandwiches!
I also like to add a simple salad to the mix. Depending on the season, I will throw in whatever is fresh. Right now, I am obsessed with a simple arugula salad. It is just arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese. I send along a little bit of good quality olive oil, and a lemon for them to dress the salad before they eat. You could use a deli-bought coleslaw here instead if that is easier.
The final thing that I will add to this meal is a bag of chips. For this particular meal I chose sweet potato chips, but bring whatever your loved ones like!
This meal is simple, fresh, and filling! Add in whatever extras you feel like: Dessert, breakfast for the next morning, healthy snacks. Food is always a welcome gift!
Note: I am not normally an advocate for disposable containers, but when bringing meals to totally exhausted people it is great to eliminate the need for them to wash dishes. I try to use containers that they may be able to use again, but that I don’t care about getting back. Recycled yogurt or takeout containers come in very handy for this type of thing, so I am often saving them when I know that friends or family are going to be in need of some deliciousness soon.
Stay tuned: I will be back with more meal ideas soon!