Menu: BBQ Chicken in the Slow Cooker for 6

Cook’s notes: Such an easy menu for a Saturday evening gathering. One couple brought chips and guacamole, the other brought dessert. We provided dinner and then played Trivial Pursuit.

Dinner plate

What worked: The barbecue chicken recipe is my new favorite way to prepare this dish. I’m officially designating it a “best recipe” on this blog. I reduced the sugar in the cole slaw recipe and used a mixture of light mayo and nonfat yogurt to lighten the dressing. I did like the fact that the carrot wasn’t overly sweet — I’ve never liked the version with heavy mayo, sugar, and raisins. Also, having guests contribute their signature dishes was so much fun. This lets everyone focus on the dish they make best.

Suggested changes: This meal has several tangy elements. In addition to the pickles, both side salads had a vinegar dressing. The cole slaw was much more popular than the carrot salad. To balance out the menu, omit the carrots and serve a different side dish without dressing: corn on the cob, green beans, pinto beans (link), or rosemary potatoes. You could also serve fresh strawberries and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Appetizer: Tortilla chips and homemade guacamole with salsa, brought by a guest (similar to this)


Put the chicken in the slow cooker and make the margaritas. Later on, make two easy side salads. After dinner, start playing board games and serve the lemon bars.

12:15 pm    Start preparing the chicken
12:30 pm    Chicken starts cooking on HIGH for 1 hour
12:45 pm    Make the margaritas; place in a gallon zip-top bag in the fridge
1:30 pm     Turn the slow cooker to LOW. Do not remove the lid. Do not stir. Chicken cooks for 4 more hours.
4 pm        Make the cole slaw and the carrot salad; store in the fridge
5:30 pm     Shred the chicken and return it to slow cooker
6 pm        Guests arrive; serve drinks and put out chips and guacamole for nibbling
Dinner    Guests assemble their own sandwiches and get side salads
Play board games and serve dessert