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Candy Chicken

Candy Chicken

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How do you get your picky children to eat chicken?  By giving them this foolproof and super kid-friendly recipe for Candy Chicken.   You will have them begging for more with every bite!  It is simply barbecued chicken that is basted with a sweet, but tart glaze until it is golden brown and very sticky.  Kids love it!

Candy Chicken

The story of MEM.  I have never really told the story of MEM, though I have spoken of them fondly as well as often.  MEM stands for Max, Ella, and Maggie;  otherwise known as, Monkey, Peanut, and Mags or Malicious.  You ask yourself, who are these mystery children?  They are not the secret children we keep hidden in our apartment.  No, they are not nieces and nephews – we do have 6 nephews and 2 nieces but they all live far from us.

8 years ago, I became restless.  I was 35 and ready to move on with my life.  I was tired of having roommates and wanted to get my own place.   At the same time, the business was starting to crash and people were losing their jobs left and right.  My job was becoming unstable and on top of that, I was very unhappy, despite, actually liking what I did. 

After a fantastic winter of skiing and playing in Tahoe with friends, two of us decided to skip off to Bali for 3 fantastic weeks.  It was there, that I realized I needed to make some major changes in my life.  I even contemplated quitting my job and continuing my travels from there, but, then the logical part of me kicked in, and I came home.  Once home that journey of change began.  Unfortunately, rents were still sky-high and no one was hiring, not even a waitress job that could get me out of my unhappy for a few hot minutes.

After 4 months of continuing the search and hitting interviews, I became pretty desperate at work one day.  While scouring the ads on Craigslist, I came across one looking for someone to care for a couple’s 3-month-year-old son.  Now, this was not the field I was in but caring for a 3-month-old could not be any more difficult than looking after an office filled with a bunch of 30-year-olds that were equally as demanding.  

I polished up my corporate resume and sent it off.  Not more than 30 minutes later, I got a reply, that they wanted to meet me.  I am sure they wanted to meet the insane person whose resume had no child experience;  but, hey, I had babysat most of my teens, taken care of three younger sisters, and occasionally watched or played with friend’s kids, and besides I was energetic and compassionate.  I knew I would be perfect.

Long story short, I liked them and they liked me and they had this bouncy bubbly baby boy who seemed to like me.  They also had a one-bedroom cottage with a backyard and a deck, which could be all mine.  This was definitely the blessing I had been searching for.

It has been 8 years almost.   Eight adventurous and wonderful years actually.  So much has happened in those 8 years, from being able to be on my own, falling deep in love, building new and exciting relationships (Will & Evelyn, et al), enjoying life more, being asked to be Mag’s godmother, and learning to live life through the eyes of a child (MEM). 

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were some ups and downs, especially after days of dirty diapers, if I wondered to myself, if I had lost my mind.  Then I would get a hug or a smile and it would all change.  About three years ago, I found out, that I would not be having children of my own and it all kind of came together.  There was a reason that I answered that ad.  There was a reason that we were all introduced.  And it was all starting to come together.

My role has evolved and changed over the past couple of years.  The kids grew up, started school, and they have started becoming their own people.  I started craving being back out in the business world, so I came out from behind the scenes and started working with Lenny at his company and now I only spend two days with MEM.  We try to sneak in special time whenever possible, as well Laudalino and I still live in the little cottage, which we have grown to love, and we keep an open-door policy with MEM.


Candy Chicken


Now you are probably asking yourself what does this all have to do with a recipe for Candy Chicken?   This past weekend, I stayed with MEM for three nights while W & E took a long weekend.  It is always fun for the four of us to have these “SUPER BIG SPECIAL NIGHTS” as it means lots of fun, games, playtime, and cooking together. One night we decided to make this great grilled chicken recipe that the kids have called candy chicken forever.  It was a recipe I learned from their grandmother and mother, and it is so good as well as easy!  I like serving it with steamed white corn and a little melted butter on the side.

Recipe:  Candy Chicken

** serves four


  • 1 cut-up chicken, cleaned, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • kosher salt

How To:

      1. Melt butter.   Add sugar and lemon juice, stir over low heat, until sugar is melted.  Stir in paprika and season with salt, to taste.
      2. Lightly season chicken with salt.  Heat bbq according to your directions.  Grill chicken until almost cooked through.
      3. For the last 15 minutes, lightly baste all sides of the chicken and continue grilling until golden.
      4. Serve.
      5. Eat.
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Friday 25th of September 2009

I loved this story because I have a similar one. I have been the best friends of twin boys since their birth (neighbors). Mom lost job and had good reason to not ask the crazy nanny back. I jumped on it, across the street, I can cook, blog and be with them. Never in my life would I have guessed, coming originally from corporate world. But I don't have my own children (step-children) and these boys have become a huge part of my life. My husband and mom are very involved too. Your story was marvelous because I've been wondering if I should ever talk about this. Every day is a marvel, and they have amazing palates for two!


Friday 11th of September 2009

That looks fantastic! Not just for kids!


Friday 8th of May 2009

This looks great! We will have to try this. We're always thinking about what to with chicken on the grill, and this would be a nice and simple recipe to try. Thanks! - John


Friday 8th of May 2009

I love when people call their meat candy...I had a steak in Argentina that was my steak candy. Would love to try your chicken recipe!


Friday 8th of May 2009

This looks delicious! The kids are sure to eat it if I call it candy chicken. Thanks for sharing!