Sunday, January 5, 2014

Crispy Chicken Bites with Truffle + Sriracha + Honey + Chive Dipping Sauce

Back in May, my mom and I went out to Los Angeles to visit my brother.  We had a blast.  One evening, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner at Craig's on Melrose.  I loved this place.  With half moon booths and dim lighting, it was such a relaxing and intimate atmosphere.  But the one thing that was imprinted in my brain was the Honey Truffle Chicken that I ordered.

I'm sure you all have had fried chicken dipped in honey before.  Delicious, right?  Now imagine that with truffle oil added to it.  Whoa!   It just takes a classic dish and brings it to an entirely different level.  Ever since I ate that chicken, I have been day dreaming of recreating a version of it.

On New Years eve, we normally go to my mom's house to have hors d'oeuvres and celebrate the new year.  While racking my brain on what to fix, I remembered the chicken I had from Craig's and decided that it was finally time to share this deliciousness with others. I'm happy to report that there was not one piece of chicken left by the end of the night.

 If you are going to a party and need to bring a showstopper, this is it.  Or if you just want to eat something amazing, then make this.  Everybody loves a piece of fried chicken.  This chicken is incredibly crisp but moist on the inside.  And this sauce... this sauce is a chicken nugget's dream come true.  I think the two should get married because they are just so perfect for each other.

P.S.- If you live in the Midwest, stay warm out there.  Word on the street is that we are supposed to get some snow and sub zero temperatures headed our way tonight.  I don't know about you but I'm going to stock up today like it's Y2K.

Place the crackers in a Ziploc bag so you can turn them into crumbs

Thes easiest way to do this is to run a rolling pin over them

Add to panko

It is very important to season each stage of the breading process. The smoked paprika and garlic powder add a subtle kick to these bites.

Try to cut the chicken up into similar size pieces.  This way, it will cook evenly and finish around the same time.

First the flour.  Be sure to tap off the excess before throwing it into the eggs.

Submerge into the egg mixture.

And finally the breading.  I like to press the breading into the chicken pieces to make sure it is heavily coated and sticks well.

Be sure to use one pan for the raw chicken and the other for the cooked chicken.

Place about 8-10 pieces into the 375 degree oil.  Any more will bring the temperature down and you want it to stay around 350-375 for crispy chicken.

Stir it around a bit.. keep it moving!  You will see it gradually change to a lovely golden brown color.

When in doubt, leave it in for 30 seconds to a minute longer.  This will help the chicken stay on the crispy side.

Transfer to the paper towel lined sheet pan and season with a little kosher salt.  Once finished, you can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven.

Time to make the dipping sauce.  This stuff is to die for.  I want to bathe in it.  Kidding... maybe not.

Crispy Chicken Bites
2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite size pieces

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 sleeve of saltine crackers, smashed
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Peanut oil for frying

Chop chicken into bite size pieces.  In three separate bowls or deep dishes, mix together the ingredients for the flour, eggs and breading.

Line a sheet pan with paper towels. This will be used for the chicken once it is done frying.  You will also need one other sheet pan for the raw chicken.

Working in small batches, toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then the egg and finally the breading.  Be sure to press the breading into the chicken on the final step.  Transfer to unlined sheet pan and continue to bread until all of the chicken pieces are done. Place breaded chicken in refrigerator until the oil is hot enough to fry.

Heat peanut oil to 375 degrees in a large pot or dutch oven.  The amount of oil will vary depending on the size of your pan.  You want the oil to be about 3-4 inches deep.  Place 8-10 pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 4-6 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oil and transfer to the paper towel lined pan to drain.  Immediately after removing from oil, sprinkle lightly with some kosher salt.

Work in batches until all of the chicken is fried.  You can keep it warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

Truffle + Sriracha + Honey + Chive Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
2 teaspoons sriracha
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and serve as a dipping sauce for the chicken bites.

1 comment:

  1. These look and sound good ... too good. We always make delicious fried foods for the Super Bowl ... we'll have to try these!


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