Tag Archives: fried chicken

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken Sliders w/ a Tabasco Honey Glaze

Since the weather has cooled, it was only natural that I wanted some stick-to-your-ribs kinda meal AND I don’t mind having the warm stove or oven on.  Yay!  

So when the thought of cooking an amped-up fried chicken sandwich crossed my mind, I was sooo in my happy place.  Regarding the sauce, I like things spicy (duh) and my hubby likes things sweet (duh once again), so the simple pairing of the vinegary Tabasco with the subtly sweet honey was just the right concoction!  The hot sauce thins out the honey for a perfect drizzle!  Just to die for on fried chicken…or should I say like todays teen, “it’s everything!”

That was now settled, so I grabbed my apron, cranked up 95.9 The Ranch on the kitchen radio and started frying up some goodness!

The Starting Lineup

  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup sweet tea, I love Red Diamond brand
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Bread & butter pickles (dill just isn’t right here)
  • Mayonnaise, I love Dukes brand
  • Slider potato rolls
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Tabasco Pepper Sauce, few to several dashes 
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying 

Earlier in the day, add the chicken thighs to a ziplock bag and pour in the buttermilk and sweet tea.  Zip up and give a shake to evenly distribute the brine.  Store in a shallow dish (to avoid spillage) and place in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours (overnight is fine too). 

Once you’re ready to fry these up, bring about 2″ of oil up to med-high heat. (350-375 degrees) in a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven.

Next, in a shallow dish, whisk together the flour with the spices and remove the chicken from the refridgerator. *Here, as I often do, is place the chicken thighs between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound out a bit thinner.  Helps to tenderize it even more AND it looks kind of cool hanging over the bun.  Bigger is always better ;). 

Now we’re ready to fry!  Using tongs, grab one of the chicken thighs and shake off excess brine, then dredge completely with the seasoned flour.  Transfer to the hot oil and allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, then turn over and fry for another 6-8 minutes (till golden brown and cooked through).  Remove to wire racked baking sheet (or paper towels) to rest while you finish the remaining thighs.  *Only fry 2-3 at a time so that the oil temperature doesn’t drop…THAT makes for greasy chicken! 

Now that the chicken is cooked, whisk together the honey and Tabasco sauce to taste.  You also can slightly toast the cut side of the sliders on a hot skillet if desired (not toaster oven).  

Assembly time!!  Spread a thin (or thick) layer of mayonnaise on each side of your soft slider rolls.  Then add the fried chicken, followed by a few bread & butter pickles and finally drizzle the honey-Tabasco right over top!  Dig in and enjoy!! 

Chicken & Bacon Cheddar Waffle’wiches

This is a masterpiece. I am not kidding. By now I imagine that most of the country has heard of the delicious meal called “Chicken & Waffles”…Well let me introduce you to its hand-held counterpart, the Chicken Waffle’wich! You get the same flavors, but no fork and knife needed! Plus who could argue that a savory bacon & cheddar buttermilk waffle doesn’t enhance this delight!  

Disclaimer: this recipe made 6 large sandwiches and 3 of us ate every morsel of them in one quick sitting.

The Starting Lineup

Waffle Batter 

 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of black pepper & salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten, room temperature
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled, *leave bacon grease in pan

Fried Chicken Cutlets 
 

  • 6 thin sliced chicken breasts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk (chicken should be marinated in this for at least 1 hour)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Oil (canola, peanut) for frying

Garnish

  • Maple Mayo (equal parts real maple syrup and mayonnaise)
  • Red Hot Mayo (equal parts Franks Red Hot Sauce & mayonnaise plus 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato

Preheat you waffle iron. *I like to heat it to medium (the 3 out of 5 on my iron). Also preheat your oven to 225 degrees. If you haven’t done so already, place your chicken into a shallow dish and cover with 2 cups buttermilk. Let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Now in a large bowl combine the first 5 dry waffle ingredients, making a bit of a ‘well’ in the center. 
  

Can you kind of see that “well”?

 Add your beaten eggs into that ‘well’ along with the buttermilk and the cooled, melted butter. Stir to combine all of the ingredients, it’s ok if the batter is slightly lumpy. Then gently fold in the cooked & crumbled bacon and the shredded cheddar cheese. 
   The waffle iron should now be hot and ready to go! Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto each waffle segment. Close and let it do its thing. Once you hear that beep and they’re done, transfer to a wire rack lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. *You want them to be on a rack ideally so they do not get soggy. 

Waffles!! I do not know why the lighting is all weird here, but…

 Chicken time!! Take the chicken & buttermilk dish out of the fridge. In another shallow dish, combine the two cups flour along with the spices. Finally, have another wire rack lined baking sheet ready to hold the floured chicken cutlets.
One by one, take a chicken cutlet out of the buttermilk and place into the flour. Lightly coat each side and then put BACK into the buttermilk and then BACK into the flour. Once coated twice, lay the dredged chicken onto the wire rack. Repeat with all cutlets. *Now my hands here were pretty messy, so I unfortunately could not take a picture of this process..I hope you get the idea. 

Coated and ready to fry!

 Now let’s get that pan you cooked the bacon in up to med-high temp, see why you needed to keep that grease! If needed, add a bit of oil to the pan as well, so it comes about an inch up the pan side.  
Place (careful..hot oil!!) the chicken, about two at a time into the pan. I cooked mine about 4-5 minutes on the first side and then 3-4 minutes on the other side. Transfer the cooked chicken to another wire racked baking sheet and into your preheated oven (along with those waffles) to keep warm. 
   Once all is cooked, hot and ready to go it’s assembly time!! By all means, create your own masterpiece here but around my house this is how we do it..
On one waffle slather on the maple mayo, on another waffle slather on the Red Hot mayo. Top the maple mayo-d waffle off with a crunchy chicken cutlet, lettuce & tomato and then the Red Hot mayo-d waffle. Cut in half at an angle and enjoy!!! *You may just need to hold these bad boys together with a wooden skewer, they’re huge! 👌 
 

Southern Fried Chicken Salad Sandwiches 

Fried chicken…I’d like you to meet the ‘salad sandwich’.  These two should have been more commonly acquainted yeaarrsss ago.

Ok, I live in the south where it is NOT uncommon to have leftover fried chicken in the fridge.  It just so happens to be my oldest sons most favorite’st food in the whole wide world to boot!  However, I realize that not everyone is like us.  You may want to consider that a good thing…so here is a…

*CHEAT: ok here’s a quick cheat if you have no fried chicken on hand. In your grocers freezer section by some Tyson brand crunchy chicken tenders and cook on a rack/baking sheet according to package directions…maybe even a minute or two longer for extra crunch. Cool and chop up!

Hell, even run up to Chicken Express or KFC for an order! No one will be the wiser 😉 

The Starting Lineup

  • 3-4 cups fried chicken, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup creole mustard
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup green onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (italian flat leaf)
  • 3 rounded Tbsps of diced pimientos 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pecans (optional)  

We’ll first start by chopping and dicing our vegetables, which will add great crunch to our chicken salad!  I always try to cut the veggies (with every meal) in uniform size.  Looks better, cooks evenly and ‘eats’ better 😉.  I promise.

Next, is that leftover cold fried chicken!!  Tear off the meat (crunchy outside too) and roughly chop up.  I like these in good 1″ pieces, if not a tad bigger.  White meat, dark meat or both!!

On to the tangy and creamy sauce!  In a large bowl, combine the mayo, buttermilk, mustard, pimientos, salt & pepper, cayenne pepper and fresh lemon juice.  Wisk together.

^^This combo makes for the BEST scratch salad dressing!^^

Now the easy part…add in the cut veggies and your cut up fried chicken.  With a rubber spatula, toss to combine.
I didn’t get a picture of this part.  My apologies…  I’m fairly certain it was because I kept eating spoonfuls out of the bowl before I could make a sandwich out of it!  😜😁😜

Now, we just cover that bowl up with Saran Wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.  Patience IS a virtue…or so I’ve heard.

When it’s just about that time, assemble any garnishes you enjoy on your sandwich and slice your bread of choice.

Today, I chose a simple leafy lettuce and sliced tomato to go along with some croissants from our bakery.  Bliss.

Crispy Chicken Summer Salad

This is a summer staple in my home.  The salad part does it for me and the crispy, fried chicken gets my husband to eat it ;). Seriously though, the crunchy chicken gets me too…

I thought I’d just “make a salad” one hot day and then one thing led to another and I’m in the kitchen with my cast iron frying chicken and making candied pecans..so much for just an easy salad, right?  However, I am super glad that I did!  The flavors are just right, the textures are perfect together and since I got a pan out, I can consider this ‘cooking’ and write it up!  

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg chicken tenderloins (or breast cut into strips)
  • 1 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten w/ tbsp water
  • Romain, spinach, iceberg mix, chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans
  • 1/2 Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Raspberry vinaigrette dressing 
  • Croutons (optional)
  • Blueberries (optional)
  • Canola oil
  • Salt & Pepper  

I like to prep all my veggies/fruit first with this simple recipe.  So that once I am finished frying up the chicken, all you have to do is toss it in a bowl together.

So clean and chop your lettuces, hull and quarter your berries, and slice and dice your cucumbers and onion….Normally, I suggest buying premade candied pecans for ease, but I forgot.  Soooo, I made some real quick by toasting my chopped nuts in a bit of oil in a skillet with a good dash of sugar and cinnamon.  Tasted just fine.

Onto the meat-of-the-matter, or in this case would it be poultry-of-the-matter??  Anyway, have three dishes ready and 2 plates (1 plate for the precooked/coated chicken and the other for the finished chicken).

In your first dish, add a cup of flour and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  In your second dish, beat your one egg with a tbsp of cold water till frothy.  In your third dish, add a cup of Panko breadcrumbs and also sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Going in order, dredge your chicken lightly in the flour, then the egg and finally the Panko.  Set coated chicken onto a plate.

  
In a large pan (preferably cast-iron) heat enough oil to come up 1/4 of the side to med/med-high heat.  Add in your tenders a couple at a time.  Do not overcrowd.  Depending on thickness, cook each side of tender for 2-3 minutes or until they’re a nice golden, crunchy brown!  Set cooked chicken aside on a paper towel lined plate.

 

Assembly time!  In a bowl, layer your lettuce along with the strawberries, cucumbers and onion.  Slice your chicken and place on top.  Sprinkle with Bleu cheese crumbles and the pecans and a bit of the raspberry vinaigrette.  I like a few crunchy croutons as well myself.  Enjoy this sweet, tangy, crunchy and refreshing salad…it’s delightful! 

 

The Best Chicken Fried Steak GRAVY

Yes, it’s the longest title in the world for some damn gravy, but boy is this worth the mouthful!  Once you’re finished frying your CFS’s (chicken fried steak’s for those who take a minute to get the acronym) the rest is easy!

The Starting Linup

  • 1/4 cup of the CFS grease (that remains in the bottom of your cast iron)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • *seasoned salt & cayenne (optional, but a must for me!)   

Like I said above, do NOT throw out the drippings from your CFS.  You can remove some grease if you seem to have a lot, but make sure that you have at least about a 1/4 cup.

Heat those drippings to medium and slowly add in your 1/3 cup flour.  You want the flour/drippings mix to clump together.  Not too wet, not too dry.  It should have a golden brown hue and turn into a ‘paste’.  If it still seems too greasy, add about a tbsp of flour at a time till it thickens up.

Once you reach that ‘clumpy, paste-like’ consistency (that sounds appetizing doesn’t it!) whisk in your milk.  Whisk, whisk, whisk out those clumps till it’s smooth and creamy.  Now is when you will season to taste with your salt & pepper.  In my opinion, you can never have enough pepper in a cream gravy! Here, is where I also like to add a tsp or two of seasoned salt & maybe a pinch of cayenne.  It just sets it apart from the others!  Allow to cook for at least 10 minutes while stirring often. Add more milk if necessary.  *make sure to test the flavor along the way!  Remember you can always add seasonings, but you can’t really take them away…. use, with your CFS, potatoes, fried chicken, biscuits or cornmeal waffles.   This stuff would be good on a shoe!

  

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