Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Football Eats 4: Spicy Dr Pepper Boneless Bites

Some good games on Saturday and two in particular that I wanted to watch: USC-Stanford and UCLA-Houston. (I missed the first quarter of the latter; apparently the games I want to watch are often "currently unavailable" in Brooklyn just like they were in South Pasadena. Is Timer Warner the common denominator for both? You know it.)

Boneless "wings" sounded like a great football snack.

I got a package of raw chicken tenders at the market and sliced them into bite-sized pieces, tossed them with flour, dipped them in egg wash, and then rolled them in a mix of flour, garlic powder and pepper.

Here are the ingredients I gathered for the sauce: Trappey's, brown sugar, ketchup, and a can of Dr Pepper.

Remember my public service announcement a couple of months ago about the proper way to store those top-down ketchup bottles? Well, here's another one: there is no period in Dr Pepper. Again, it doesn't bother me when people write it incorrectly, but I see it done incorrectly all the time and just thought I'd pass this info along. Although the drink has been around since in the late 19th century and indeed it used to be spelled as if it were an MD, there has not been a period after the "Dr" in 60 years; the company removed it for stylistic reasons. 

I reduced the sauce for about 20 minutes, until it was a thick, sweet glaze. It turned out it was a little sweeter than I hoped, so more Trappey's was necessary. No big deal. 

I let the oil get up to about 375 degrees and dropped in the first batch of chicken pieces, no more than eight at a time. (The oil obviously drops in temperature when the cold chicken hits it; any more than 8 pieces in my pot - which isn't too big - and the temperature drops to an unacceptable level.)

I left the pieces alone for five minutes, then poked them to make sure they had separated and were cooking properly. Another minute or two and they were ready to come out.

Ideally I would put the cooked chicken bites on a rack to drain off the oil, but, even though my kitchen is a good size by New-York-City-apartment standards, I still don't have as much counter space as I would like and I got rid of my wire rack. So I just sat them on paper towels for a minute before tossing them with the sauce.

We devoured the first batch in a ridiculous amount of time. It seemed like we ate all eight in 30 seconds, but I admit that's probably not right. It might have only been two minutes, though. So, obviously, we both really liked them.  I'm not sure I will make them again this way; even after liberal amounts of Trappey's the bites were still sweeter than I like. (I actually ended up dusting a couple of the bites from the next batch with "Pain Is Good" Louisiana-style hot sauce for very spicy flavoring.) But I'm glad I made them as football eats, they were still very good.


BT said...

Those look great. And since you're passing along PSA's, here's mine: There is no "S" at the end of Nordstrom.

Drives me crazy when I hear someone say they "got it at Nordstroms!"

Really? Did you get your socks at Gaps and your toilet paper at Targets too?

JustinM said...

I would rather have people say Targets than Tar-zhay.

SuperLarge said...

I believe I am guilty of both the above-mentioned offenses. Yup, I'm sure I am.

JustinM said...

Yes but when you're a hot chick you can get away with a lot.

nicolawatson95 said...

Hi these look amazing! Could I have the recipe for the sauce please! Im from the UK and love your blog!

JustinM said...

I'll tell you what I did but I mostly did it by sight/taste, so these aren't exact:

Take a 12oz can of Dr Pepper and reduce it over low-medium heat until it's 1/4 the amount. Stir in a pat of butter - as much or as little as you choose; you don't even need to add it if you don't wish - and about 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup ketchup. Blend that in with the sauce and add as much hot sauce as you want. I added roughly two tablespoons of Trappey's, which isn't very spicy. If you are using a spicy hot sauce, you definitely don't want to add that much.