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Aug 24, 2012 10:23 AM

Adapting Recipe from Pork Ribs TO Chicken Breast

Hello All,

I was hoping some of you out there could help me convert this recipe from Pork Spare Ribs to Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast.

Barbecue Ribs (from World Recipes App)

12 Pork Spare Ribs

For the Sauce:
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 x 400g Cans Chopped Tomatoes
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
2 oz Muscovado Sugar (I used Brown Sugar)
4 Tbsp Malt Vinegar
3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 tsp Ground Cumin
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion, fry for 3-4 minutes, until softened, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

2. Place the ribs in the barbecue and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. Brush the ribs liberally with the barbecue sauce every few minutes, until they have a thick, sticky coating, and serve.

SO my question is how could I substitute Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast for the Ribs. How would I need to adjust the heat and the cooking time when I add the chicken?

Thank you all for the advice!

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  1. Cooking methods for pork ribs and skinless boneless chicken breasts are not even from the same planet.

    Make sauce. Cook your chicken breasts however you would normally cook them and apply sauce at the end. If you want a glossy coating, broil them briefly to make the sauce stick or if grilling, throw them back on the grill.

    The recipe above is incomplete in some way. Ribs take several hours to cook.

    1. Ribs only 15 minutes? It sounds like the recipe is good for chicken breast as is.

      What I would do is maybe marinade the chicken breast in the (cooked and cooled) sauce overnight before cooking.

      Also, barbecue is this low and slow or on a hot grill? If it's a hot grill chicken breast cook in about 15-20 minutes.

      1. I don't see where you'd need to make any adjustments, except for the length of time you leave the chicken breasts on the fire and that's going to depend on how large and thick the breasts are. I also don't agree with the "...thick, sticky coating..." because the chicken is more delicate in both texture and flavor than pork so with a thick coating you're likely to get only a mouth full of sauce flavor and nothing of the chicken. How long to cook the chicken? Use a digital instant read thermometer and check the temperature after you've turned the breasts once or twice (a step the recipe doesn't include for the pork ribs) to determine when they're done (safe for consumption) but be careful not to over cook them. Over cooked chicken breasts are dry and tough.
        As for the amount of heat, assuming you're using a charcoal fired bbq, just make sure the coals are hot and cook the chicken over medium heat, but keep the chicken away from any flames.
        I agree that "spare ribs" require a long cooking time, however short ribs cook quite differently so I'm wondering if you're original recipe is actually a short rib recipe or a beef spare rib recipe. Just curiosity because a full rack of pork ribs could not possibly cook through in 10 - 15 minutes - perhaps they meant 10 - 15 minutes per side.

        1. You could either make the sauce and cook the chicken separately, then simply serve the chicken with the sauce, or parcook the chicken then sauce then broil or grill on both sides until the sauce becomes a glaze and is thick and sticky.The latter method will rely on both the chicken and the sauce cooking to your desired doneness at the exact same time.

          Cooking chicken breasts by themselves without overcooking them and drying them out can be hard enough so I wouldn't try this method - too much room for error with the sauce or the chicken (although, with some trial and error, you could nail down a reliable method involving the aforementioned saucing then cooking the chicken to doneness and the sauce to a glaze). I would simply make the sauce, cook the chicken, and bring them together at the table. I am, however, pretty particular on the internal temperature of chicken breasts and don't like overcooked chicken. So, I'd pull the chicken at 150 degrees F - a perfectly safe temperature to eat breast meat at that will give you extremely moist and tender meat.