March 28, 2014

Quick Buffalo Chicken

As you read this, we will be on our way to Colorado Springs for our Spring stay-cation! We looked into a dozen places to camp, but it's just too cold. So we got a great Groupon deal on a family hotel and are going to spend the weekend an hour away, showing the boys all my favorite places from growing up at the Air Force Academy. Garden of the Gods, an old toy store and candy store, and lots and lots of pool time! It'll be fun to get away. So I've set up this post and tomorrow's to publish while I'm gone. 

Buffalo Chicken kinda goes in the same category as bacon, don't you think? Love it or hate it? I still remember the first time I was introduced to this tangy, spicy sauced chicken. I was eighteen, and thought it would be disgusting, but my date swore it was the most awesome thing around, so I had to try it. And was hooked!! I think it was partly appealing to my love of all things spicy. My Dad and I used to have salsa-eating contests... though I still don't remember exactly what winning entailed... I love things spicy. Mexican food is just not right unless it has some heat, and plain Cheetos have nothing on the flaming ones! (Yes, I know, those things are disgusting. I can't help myself) Now when it comes to buffalo sauce, I still want to taste the stuff. It can't be so hot that all you taste is heat! This is the best sauce I've found, with the easiest prep. Perfect for a football snack (or March Madness, for that matter!!)

Quick Buffalo Chicken (inspired by Cooks Illustrated)
Printable Recipe (Serves 2-3)

3 Tb butter
1/2 cup hot sauce (Frank's is my favorite)
a few splashes to 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 Tb dark brown sugar
2 tsp cider vinegar

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
peanut or vegetable oil for frying
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp table salt
3 Tb cornstarch

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in hot sauces, brown sugar, and vinegar until combined. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat to 360 degrees. While oil heats, whisk together cayenne, black pepper, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Dry chicken with paper towels cut into bite-size pieces (I like mine long and skinny). Place chicken in a bowl or ziplock bag with the spice mix and toss until well coated. Fry the chicken pieces in batches until golden and crisp, 8-10 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer fried chicken to a papertowel covered plate. When all the chicken is fried, place it in a bowl, drizzle sauce over and toss to coat. Serve immediately, with ranch or blue cheese dressing. (Sauce can be refrigerated for a few days, and re-heated in the microwave. Just DON'T reheat it in a plastic or tupperware container, the sauce will destroy it!)
That coating does not make these crunchy, just a bit crisp. You can do the same whole process with wings, I just prefer my chicken without all the nasty bits. And it's a cinch to whip up for lunch!
Spicy, tangy, with a hint of rich sweetness, this is the best Buffalo sauce around! Frank's really isn't that hot, so you can adjust the heat with the amount of Tabasco you choose to add. With some creamy blue cheese dressing, it's mouthwatering and unbeatable!
I admit I like my chicken a hair overdone with this recipe, it makes it crispier. But it's tasty all the way through, and usually juicy and delicious. One of my favorite weekend craving foods!

1 comment :

  1. That chicken is calling my name April. I hope you have a lovely weekend away with your family!! Xxoo


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