The NBA playoffs begin on Saturday. If you can't be in the crowd or at a bar watching, you and your friends will most likely be huddled around a big screen and watching the game unfold from home. I've had a few friends reach out to me already and ask, "What's a good recipe if I'm hosting gameday??" (Everyone should know by now how much I love coming up with gameday recipes.)
Beer, barbeque, fried snacks, finger foods...all standards, all classics. My newest recipe is what happens when I decide to throw everything together into one dish.
Crispy, beer-battered chicken with a tangy barbeque dipping sauce!
First, make the dipping sauce. Nothing radical on this ingredient list. In fact, you probably have most of these sitting in your pantry or fridge already. Ketchup, mustard, hot sauce...
Simmer the sauce over low heat for 20-25 minutes. Stir every so often to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. Then, set the sauce aside to cool, and start to heat your frying oil to 400 degrees.
The cornstarch and baking powder are definitely important in batters like this. The cornstarch helps to create that big crunch, and the baking powder (a leavening agent) prevents the the crust from being too dense/gummy.
In a separate dish, spread out a little bit of flour. Work in batches to evenly coat the cubed chicken breasts.
Dip the chicken in the batter, allow the excess to drip off, then carefully place a few pieces into the 400 degree oil. Fry each batch for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is browned and crisp.
One of the cardinal sins of frying is "crowding the pan", because putting too many pieces in at one time can make the temperature of the oil drop too low. Food fried in not-hot-enough oil is probably one of the most deceiving things ever...Appears perfectly browned, but is in fact, greasy and soggy. (It's also important to let the oil come back up to the right temperature in between batches.)
buckets in your favorite team's colors.
Here's to good company, good food & drink, and good games this weekend!
Guinness Popcorn Chicken with Guinness BBQ Sauce (serves 4-5)
2/3 cup Ketchup
1 tbsp Mustard
1 tbsp Hot Chili Sauce (Recommended: Sriracha)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsps Liquid Smoke
1/2 cup Guinness Draught
3 tbsps Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground, Coarse Black Pepper
4-5 Thin-Sliced Chicken Breasts, cubed
1 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour, divided
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsps Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Finely Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 cups Guinness Draught
Canola Oil, for frying.
- To prepare the BBQ sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir to combine well. Then, simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes. Pour into a jar or small bowl, and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oil to 400 degrees.
- Evenly spread the 1/2 cup of flour in a baking dish or pan. Then, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour the Guinness into the mixing bowl, and whisk until the batter is smooth and all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Once the oil is ready, work in batches to coat the chicken in flour, dip in the beer batter, and fry in the oil. Fry the chicken pieces for 4-5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Transfer each finished batch to a paper towel-lined platter to drain. While the chicken is still hot, sprinkle lightly with more sea salt. In between frying batches, be sure to allow the temperature of the oil to come back up to 400 degrees.
- Serve the chicken immediately, alongside the BBQ sauce for dipping! Enjoy!