In my husband’s perfect world, he would eat what I consider “pub fare” on a daily basis. Fish and chips, bangers and mash (sausage and potatoes), shepherd’s pie, Reuben sandwiches and buffalo chicken strips. Of course, if he were to get these foods at a pub, they would be fattening, greasy and sure to induce instantaneous heartburn.
So, being the kind, considerate (and controlling) wife that I am, I intersperse my version of these meals between the lentil soup and coconut curry shrimp that I tend to favor. It keeps him out of the greasy pubs around town when he needs a pub fare fix and I get to play around with new recipes. See? It’s a win-win.
I came up with these boneless buffalo chicken strips on the fly a couple of days ago when the Irishman had a hankering for them and I made them with the pantry ingredients that I happened to have on hand. Alright, here’s what you need. Oh, and I’ve given you two different buffalo sauce recipes in case you like things a teeny bit sweeter (version #1) or traditional (version #2).
For the chicken strips:
1-2 chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbs. water
1 cup bread crumbs (I had the Japanese panko bread flakes on hand)
1/2 cup flour
Canola oil for pan frying (vegetable oil would work too)
For the sauce, version #1:
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup hot sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1-2 Tbs. honey
For the sauce, version #2:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hotsauce
1 tsp. white vinegar
For starters, combine the ingredients for the sauce (for whichever sauce you choose) in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until your chicken strips are done.
Next, slice your chicken breasts into 1/2 inch thick strips. Then, put about 1 inch of oil in a large saute pan and get it nice and hot. You know the oil is ready when you drop in a bread crumb and it starts to sizzle.
Now, we’re going to get an assembly line going. We’re going to dredge the chicken in the (1) flour, (2) egg wash, and (3) bread crumbs in that order. So, I just line up my big soup bowls and fill one with the flour, one with the beaten egg/water and one with the bread crumbs. I generally will salt and pepper the flour since it’s touching the chicken first.
And we’re off! Coat the chicken with flour, give it a roll in the egg wash and then drop it in the bread crumbs until it’s coated. Shake off the excess crumbs and put it in the hot oil. Once you’ve got a couple of chicken strips pan-frying, let them cook for 3 minutes or so on each side. They should be a nice golden brown. You may need to turn the temperature down to medium after the first batch is done to prevent them from getting too brown.
When they’re done, line them up on a paper-towel covered plate so that the excess oil will drain. Once all of your chicken has cooked, go ahead and dip them in the sauce, put on a plate and serve. And that’s it! Making pub fare at home is a healthier alternative to the real deal and it’s also cheaper. Just don’t forget to tip the cook.