Football season is now upon us, and you know what that means: cooking up dishes with great indigestive potential. Rickey isn’t as big a football enthusiast as he is a baseball fan, but when it comes to cooking, he’s ready to rise to the occasion. Do you enjoy buffalo wings but feel like all those pesky bones are taking up valuable space that could be replaced by yet more buffalo sauce and chicken meat? Well then this quick & easy recipe is for you. Whether you’re a rabid fan in need of sustenance to fuel a grueling Sunday spent on the couch, or merely a hausfrau who just barely tolerates your significant other’s alarming fixation with watching grown men in tight pants tackle each other, we think you’ll find something in this recipe that appeals to you. Here’s what you’ll need:
Chicken tenders (or boneless chicken breasts cut lengthwise into strips)
Several Beaten Eggs
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Blue Cheese Dressing (Rickey recommends Marzetti’s)
You’ll want to kick things off by heating your oven up to 200° (Fahrenheit, not Celsius you pan-euro jackass). In a large bowl of your choosing, combine the breadcrumbs and chopped parsley. Then place the flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumb mixture in three separate shallow bowls. Presto, you’ve got yourself a little assembly line going on.
*Note: If you’re the type who likes things very hot, add cayenne pepper to the flour mixture. For the next part of the operation, we suggest a little musical accompaniment. Raymond Scott’s “Powerhouse” should work nicely. Go ahead and tap your feet a little—music goes hand in hand with cooking.
One by one, dip the chicken tenders in the flour. Then dip them in the eggs. Then dip them in the breadcrumbs. It’s a regular factory assembly line! (See why Rickey picked out that song?) When you’re all done, place breaded chicken tenders on a large plate to await their oily fate. Next, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, and fill the bottom of the pan with a ½ inch of peanut oil. Unless you want your precious tenders sticking to the pan, make damn sure there’s a ½ inch of peanut oil in the pan at all time. Using your trusty cooking thermometer (you do have one of these, yes?) heat the oil to 350°.
To prevent a horrific scalding incident, a splatter guard is kind of a must for this recipe. When you’re feeling brave enough, add a few chicken strips (5 to 6) to the hot oil, and cook them until they’re nicely browned on one side. This should take about three minutes. Use tongs to turn the strips, and allow them to finish cooking, two to three minutes more. Remove the chicken from the pan, place the pieces on a baking sheet and season 'em with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Repeat this process for all the strips.
Put the finished chicken tenders in the oven to ensure they stay warm and crisp. Don’t stack them on top of each other—they’ll lose their crunchiness. We’d explain why this happens, but that would require a sextant, a master’s degree in Norse mythology, and a small woodland critter. Frankly, Rickey doesn’t have that kind of time on his hands.
Now on to the hot sauce: the heart of the recipe. Combine a ratio of 2 cups hot sauce to 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan, and bring the wondrous concoction to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When you’re ready to serve the awesomness, put the chicken tenders in a large bowl and pour the sauce over them. Toss 'em to coat all the pieces evenly, and serve them with that Marsetti's blue cheese that Rickey mentioned earlier. And enjoy. We think that you’ll find that the taste stacks up nicely to anything most buffalo wing joints create (except for The Candlelight Inn--those magnificent bastards are in a league of their own).
As far as beverage pairings go, you’ll want to drink something equally modest as this unassuming dish. Go with Sam Adams Light, it’s a stalwart friend that has never let Rickey down in the past. So maybe this wasn’t the most challenging or high brow recipe ever... But you’ll find that it pairs well with an entire Sunday spent watching football. Have no fear; Rickey’s working his way up to a soufflé recipe.