With Championship Sunday coming up this week and the Super Bowl in just two weeks (plus Wrestlemania season is starting up), it’s time to make finger food.
(For some extra flavor, I would start by brining your chicken, but it’s not totally necessary and can take a long time.)
We’ll start off with the sauce because once it comes together, it can simmer while you do the real meat of the dish…which is, coincidentally meat. The sauce was originally dubbed Crazy For Cliff Lee sauce from a Phillies blog that’s pretty much dead anymore, so rather than give them any credit whatsoever*, I’m just going to usurp this whole thing for myself and rename it.
Sweet and hot rum sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp. rum
To make the sauce bring all of the contents to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Seriously. That’s it.
Buttermilk fried chicken
Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s ad hoc at home
1 lb. chicken breast
2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn meal
2 – 3 tbsp. garlic salt
2 – 3 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper or chili pepper powder
2 cups buttermilk
If you brine your chicken, be sure to drain it thoroughly before getting started. Otherwise, you’re getting some salty chicken. And that’s something any guest are sure to get…salty…about.
See what I did there?
Now that you’ve seen what I did there, dip the chicken into the combination of flour, corn meal and spices, then dip the chicken into the buttermilk. The first dip into the flour will dry the outside of the chicken so that the buttermilk doesn’t run off of the chicken.
Once dredged in buttermilk, dip the chicken back into the flour combination and set aside on some parchment or wax paper if you have it.
Fry in peanut oil at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes. If you’ve got a candy thermometer, you can see how hot the oil is for frying. If you’re using a deep fat fryer, you can set the temperature. And if you’re too cheap to buy either of those things, take a wooden spoon and rest it in the oil. Once you see bubbles starting to collect along the wooden spoon rapidly, the oil should be hot enough.
Once the chicken is fried and cooked thoroughly, then it rest and allow to drain on paper towels. Finish with sea salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
You can plate the sauce alongside the chicken and/or lightly drizzle it over the chicken before adding toothpicks or serving the chicken with little forks or something.
*Partial credit goes to the Baseball Ladies aka Chicks Dig The Long Ball Phillies blog, I guess. Who knows, they could be readers! RIP. You were a fine blog “that threw like a girl.”