Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Buffalo Nuggets

With the changing leaves and the summer breeze turning quickly into winter chill. This time of year brings on one of the greatest American traditions...football. With Football, most Americans have associated 3 food groups with the grid iron, Pizza, Beer & of course the chicken wing. Whether grilled, baked or deep fried we Americans love our chicken wing. Which brings me to my next recipe being featured  on Happy Valley Chow; Buffalo Nuggets (AKA boneless buffalo wings, but I wanted a special name for mine).

  • 1.5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • 1 Lbs. Cubed Chicken Breasts
  • Canola Oil for frying
  • Chicken Brine (optional; recipe follows)

First, combine all the dry ingredients (Flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper & kosher salt) mix with a fork until well incorporated. Separate the flour mixture in half and distribute to two separate bowls. Add the buttermilk to a third bowl and season (to taste) with salt and pepper. 

All of our dry ingredients 

Drudging Station (Flour, Buttermilk, Flour)

To cube the chicken breasts, first remove the tips. Then slice the breasts into 1" thick strips length wise. After you make the strips then you'll want to cut the them into 1" chunks. 

Remove Tips
Cut Into Strips
Cut Into Chunks

Now we are ready to begin frying! Heat enough canola in a large stock pot so that the chicken chunks are covered when we begin frying (for me I put in about 1-2" of oil). Heat the oil to 350-365° F. While the oil is heating begin preparing your first batch of chicken (I started out with 6 pieces) you want to dredge them in flour, then in buttermilk (drain off excess) and then dredge again in flour. After oil is heated add in your first batch and fry until cooked through, about 5-6 min (If you're worried they aren't done, either cut a piece open to make sure it's cooked all the way through or test with thermometer, should read 160°F) transfer to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat until all chunks are fried. 

After all pieces are fried, transfer to a bowl and coat with your favorite sauce or simply don't use any sauce and sprinkle on some fine sea salt, fresh rosemary and thyme. Bon Appétit! 

Looking to kick up your chicken for any meal?? Try this delicious brine!

  • 1 Quart Water
  • 1/4 Cup of Diamond Krystal Kosher Salt (International Section of most grocery stores)
  • 1.5 Tsp Whole Peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/4 Bunch of Parsley 

Makes 1 Quart

In a medium sauce pan bring water to a bowl. Add in remain ingredients, stir and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and let cool down completely and transfer(lemon, garlic, everything in the pot)  to a container or 1 quart mason jar and refrigerate. 

Whenever you are ready to brine, just put your chicken in a large zip lock and pour the brine in so that the chicken is completely covered and let sit for about 2 hours or up to 12 hours (note: Brining can make your food taste great, but over brining can lead it to be very salty so experiment with your brining times). 

Kitchen Word of the Day

Mis en Place  (pronounced [miz ɑ̃ plas], literally "putting in place")  is a French phrase defined by the Culinary Institute of America as "everything in place", as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, par-cooked items, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components) that a cook will require for the menu items that he or she expects to prepare during his/her shift

Prepping everything you need is crucial for any cook, whether they are professional or your average home cook. Having everything in order cuts down on time & stress and will usually increase the quality of your food. 

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