Mike’s Atomic Chicken Buffalo Tenders


This is a tried-and-true recipe that never fails to please. The secret is the second-run through the egg wash. It allows the breading to set up better. The result is a fantastically light, crunchy coating enhanced by the addition of corn starch which helps keep it from getting too dense, while locking in the juices.  You can use a digital meat probe to test for doneness. The chicken should be golden-brown and read 165° F in the thickest part. If you trim the pieces as indicated, you will not have any issues.  You’ll also get great results using wings — keep in mind they cook faster, so watch them carefully.

A note on the wing sauce — this is a favorite of mine from Buffalo, New York; the undisputed wing capitol of the United States. It is, however, by no means “suicidal.” It has plenty of heat and a lot of tang; the balance being just right for my taste. Try it. I think you’ll agree.

 

Ingredients:

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1.5 quarts peanut oil
Original Anchor Bar Suicidal Buffalo Wing Sauce

~For the Egg Wash:
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 – 3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbs. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

~For the Seasoned Flour Dredge:
3/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp. garlic granules
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp. ground ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

~For the Breading:
equal parts plain, unseasoned bread crumbs and Japanese Panko bread crumbs

~For the Sides:
Buffalo Bleu Cheese Dressing
Thinly sliced scallion as a garnish
4-inch celery stalk planks

 

Directions:

Using a large cutting board, lay out the chicken breasts and cover with a double-folded piece of plastic wrap. Pound flat with a meat mallet. This ensures even cooking with no underdone spots in the middle.

Cut the chicken into 1″ strips against the grain to ensure they are tender. Then trim the strips so they are about 3 to 4″ in length.

Prepare the egg wash mixture by whisking the eggs in a wide, shallow bowl. Add the buttermilk and lemon juice. Whisk again. Add the chicken pieces. Coat well and set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Prepare the flour dredge ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Prepare the breading mixture in another bowl.

Preheat 1.5 quarts of peanut oil in a heavy cast-iron 4-quart chicken fryer until the temperature reaches 375° F.

Using a tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the egg wash and dredge in the flour mixture until evenly coated. Shake off the excess flour and set them aside on another plate while you work. Then quickly dip the tenders back in the egg wash and roll in the breading.

Working in batches of 3 or 4 tenders, carefully dip them into the hot peanut oil. A Chinese spider-strainer works great for this. Cook for no more than two minutes per batch, turning once at one minute until golden-brown. Remove and set aside on paper towel.

Place the tenders in a large mixing bowl and add the wing sauce to taste. Carefully toss until evenly coated.

Serve with the Buffalo Bleu Cheese Dressing and celery planks.
Garnish with the green scallion, sprinkled over the top.

 

Serves 4 comfortably.
Each breast will yield about eight tenders.

Note: Culinary Compost never endorses products for profit, and has received no monetary compensation for the content of this post.

Culinary Compost Boycotts Penzeys Spices


Hello fellow foodies. After reading recent commentary from Bill Penzey, the author of Culinary Compost is officially withdrawing all references to Penzeys Spices on this food blog. While I’ve always known that Bill overtly inserts his political opinion in monthly mailings to his customer base, (which, in its own right is wrong on so many levels,) I can no longer stand by and let this man spew his rhetoric of hate to conservatives, and to people who support and voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election, by labeling them “racist.”

I am not a racist. I never have been. And I resent being called one.

This is extreme-left socialism, and this kind of bigotry has no place in America.  Make no mistake — my observation is not one of Conservatives vs. Liberals. It is simply a stance of the author not supporting an individual who wants to further divide this country through hate by means of his product.

Shown below are a few articles and a link to Penzey’s official Facebook page:

http://truthfeed.com/owner-of-penzeys-spice-co-trashes-trump-supporters-calling-them-racist-and-saying-they-must-be-punished/39315/

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2016/11/21/penzeys-ceo-comments-ignite-backlash-praise-and.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/23/bill-penzey-ceo-trump-voters-just-committed-the-bi/

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/bill-penzey-spices-trump/

http://modernfarmer.com/2016/11/penzeys-spices-condemns-trump-attracts-rage/

https://www.facebook.com/Penzeys/?fref=ts

 

You be the judge.  Last time I checked, America was still a free country. And my readers, of course, are still allowed to shop where they want and exercise their right to free speech, which I will always respect. However, pitting people against each other in the guise of “Love” is a ruse by Bill Penzey, who’s only concern is making as much money as he can over a very contentious election.  Funny thing is, he’s pissed off a lot of his customers, and I, for one, will not be coming back.

Invariably, comments by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke say it best:
https://twitter.com/SheriffClarke/status/800088603422380033
“This typical hate-filled white elitist lefty doesn’t live around black people or have stores in black neighborhoods.”

Bill Penzey can be reached at bill@penzeys.com

#boycottpenzeys

 

In the interest of an open discussion, leave your thoughts below – none will be censured.
—Mike from Culinary Compost

Bill Penzey's Socialist Sea Salt

Penzey’s Spices announces new product.

Pan-Seared Japanese Shishito Peppers


Pan-Seared Japanese Shishito Peppers | Culinary Compost Recipes

This is a classic Asian appetizer recipe, traditionally served in Japanese restaurants as an accompaniment to sushi. The peppers are impossible to find in local supermarkets here, but I’m told you can get them fresh at Trader Joe’s — my brother had the foresight to plant them in his garden this year and was nice enough to share. While the chilies are reputedly very mild, the rumor is that one-in-ten are mind-numbingly spicy — so proceed with caution if you’re planning on serving them to hapless guests.  The recipe also traditionally calls for the Japanese Yuzu fruit, instead of a lemon or lime. If you can find one, use it.


Ingredients:

10 fresh garden Japanese Shishito peppers
2 heaping tbs. Panko bread crumbs, toasted in a skillet over medium-low heat
1 fresh lime – cut into eighths
Kosher salt
1 tbs. Sesame oil

Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. hot chili sambal paste
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
Dash of fresh lime juice

 

Directions:

Rinse the peppers under cold water in colander. Pierce each with a toothpick and leave the stems on. Set aside. Preheat a cast-iron pan or wok over medium heat on a stovetop or outdoor charcoal grill.

Toast the Panko bread crumbs in a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat; about six to eight minutes, shaking often. Remove and transfer to a small serving bowl.

Prepare the dipping sauce ingredients and whisk together. Transfer to a small serving bowl.

When the skillet or wok is preheated, add the Shishito peppers and toss with about 1 tbs. sesame oil to coat. Spread them out and let them char slightly before turning. Turn and watch them so they don’t scorch. Total cooking time is roughly 10-12 minutes depending on the temperature of your grill or burner. Remove from the heat and add a dash of lime juice and Kosher salt. Stir and then sprinkle with the toasted Panko bread crumbs.

Serve with the soy dipping sauce.

Serves 4-6

Pan-Seared Japanese Shishito Peppers | Culinary Compost Recipes

Tejas Potato Chips


This is a recipe I reverse-engineered after my stay at the University of Texas in Austin. These homestyle chips were served at the Carillon Bar and Grill in the AT&T campus hotel. A killer complement to smoked brisket and fine tequila.

Ingredients:

4 large potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into thin planks
3 tbs. salt
2 quarts cold water

~

2 tbs. ground smoked paprika
2 tbs. ground ancho chili
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Lawry’s salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
(makes a little more than 1/3 cup)

Directions:

Prepare dry spices and set aside.

Place two quarts of cold water in a large pot. Add three tbs. salt and mix well. Scrub the potatoes and leave the skins on. Slice in to thin planks with a mandolin and add to the salted water.
Leave in the water for at least 1/2 hour. Drain and rinse with cold water. Repeat.

Heat 1.25 quarts vegetable oil in a large cast-iron pot until temperature reaches 375° F.
Add the chips in two batches, stirring occasionally with a Chinese spider strainer, for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.
Add the chips to a shaker bag with about 2 tbs. of the dry spices and shake until well coated. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Hot Oyster Snack Crackers


This is a snack recipe that was widely circulated on a number of foodie websites. It appears to have originated from Hidden Valley’s website. After trying a revved-up sample from a friend who put her own kick on it, I’ll share my version. I cannot stop eating them.

Ingredients:

1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
1 16oz. bag premium Oyster crackers
1 cup canola or XV olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
Dash of Lawry’s seasoned salt, to taste
Dash of El Yucateca XXX Habañero hot sauce, to taste

Directions:

Whisk the canola oil, dressing mix and dry spice ingredients in a bowl until blended. Add the hot sauce to taste and stir well. Preheat your oven to 250° F. Pour the canola oil seasoning over the crackers in a larger mixing bowl and fold carefully until the crackers are well coated. Place evenly on a cookie sheet and warm in the oven for 15-20 minutes until just golden. Remove and serve.

Serves 6-8

Caper Spread for Smoked Salmon


This is amazing paired with smoked salmon. Some people shred the salmon and mix it in with the spread. I feel this kills the presentation. Let the fish take center stage by adding it chunked on a cracker with this spread as a flavorful base.

Ingredients:

1 8oz. package cream cheese
2 tbs. capers, drained and left whole
2 tbs. minced red onion
1 tbs. minced fresh parsley
2 tbs. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs. mayo (add if you need the spread to be more creamy)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
fine chopped fresh dill weed (optional)

Snack crackers

Directions:

Beat the cream cheese with the lemon juice and mayo until desired consistency is achieved. Add the capers, red onion, parsley and pepper.

Fold in until combined. Let stand in the fridge covered for about an hour.
Spread on crackers and sprinkle with the chopped dill, then top with chunked smoked salmon.

Serves 6-8

Pickle Dip


Here’s a great Wisconsin appetizer recipe from my friend Jan. It pairs well with pretzels or Ruffles® potato chips.

Ingredients:

8 oz. cream cheese
3 large Old Milwaukee® dill pickles
Pickle brine from jar

Directions:

Allow the cream cheese to soften a bit at room temperature in a mixing bowl. Mince the three whole pickles and add to the cream cheese. Mix with a spatula, adding a bit of brine as you go to achieve a smooth consistency for dipping.

Refrigerate covered for one hour before serving.

Serves 6-8