25 February 2013

Eats: bang bang chicken

I readily admit it: I am not the healthiest cook. If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you already know that. I mean, it’s not all chocolate-dipped fried twinkies around here, but there are definitely copious amounts of shredded cheese. And oil. And CARBS. That sums up 99% of my dinner repertoire, right there.

Still. Today’s recipe is especially un-healthfully shameful, for my part. It’s not just that it uses lots of fattening ingredients (there’s mayo in the dipping sauce, for goodness sake). It’s also that... the original recipe used cauliflower, and I substituted that vegetable with MEAT.

It’s Bang Bang Chicken day here, and the “bang bang” part could be either me shooting down any claims of healthy eating, or your arteries clogging in a particularly dramatic way. But it’s quick delicious, so... that makes it okay?

You start with diced (uncooked) chicken – I used two boneless, skinless breasts, but you can scale it up or down as you like, and thighs would be tasty too. Whatever you use, toss the chicken in a 1:1 mixture of flour and breadcrumbs plus a tablespoon of cornstarch. If you have panko, that’s awesome! Use that! I did not. Oh, and salt and pepper the chicken if you want, but don’t worry about an egg. The breading should stick to the chicken just fine.

Then fry up the chicken over medium-high heat in another 1:1 mixture, this time of vegetable and olive oil:

I happen to prefer the taste of olive oil to vegetable, but you could use only vegetable if you like.

In just a few minutes, you’ll have perfect little mini chicken nuggets. Something about the cornstarch really lets them fry up nicely – it’s my new secret go-to for chicken breading. Almost Chick-fil-A in texture! (Though not taste. Their seasoning mixture currently remains elusive.)

Now guess what. You are 90% of the way done with this dish. Seriously. Dicing, breading, and frying the chicken is the bulk of the work. The remaining, easy 10% of the work is in the bang bang sauce, and that where the magic happens. It’s also where the mayo happens.

I used a scant quarter-cup of light mayonnaise and sriracha to taste. Heart shape optional. I think I ended up using several tablespoons of sriracha, because we like it spicy.

The sauce also needs a tablespoon or so of wine vinegar – I used red wine vinegar because I had it on hand, but rice wine vinegar imparts a better flavor – and a tablespoon of brown sugar.

I will pretend that isn’t a visual representation of what my heart thinks of this mayo-based sauce over fried chicken.

Anyway. Stir it up! And you’re basically done! Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and call your family to dinner.

The sauce could be used as a dipping sauce, if you like. This small-ish amount of sauce I made barely coated the chicken, but I’m okay with that, because... you know, mayo. Still! It was tasty, thanks to the lightly fried breading! That cornstarch trick, man. It’s genius.

I forgot to take a final, plated photo of this. Oops. Thank goodness I’m not a real food blogger and instead just some hot mess who tells you about her kitchen adventures. There are pretty photos at the source, at least!

But I will say that, while the chicken can totally be served as an entrée, the garlic noodles I served on the side were a little too greasy and starchy to be paired with this. Next time, I’m thinking about a bang bang chicken... salad! Or bang bang veggies over rice. Or bang bang shrimp, like the original, with some roasted broccoli on the side!

Basically the possibilities of a sriracha-mayo sauce with fried somethings are limited only by your imagination. And... perhaps your diet. Ah well, enjoy!


Tina said...

Sounds good and easy - and your narrative is entertaining, too! :-)