October 1, 2014

Calabash Chicken

Before I tell you about the recipe, I have to tell you about this old man eyeballing me and the chicken while I snapped some photos for y’all.

I bout cried when I saw that he had crept in right beside me, trying to get closer to the delicious smelling chicken because a week ago he wasn't eating and I thought I was going to lose him.

This old man is Hondo. We got him when he was about four years old (and already named) and have had him eight years. I've had dogs my whole life. I've loved some more than others. But I've never loved one more than this one. He’s family.

Thankfully he rebounded from his troubles (won’t go in to all the details) and I just wanted y’all to meet the best dog I've ever known. I wuff him so much :o)

Onto the chicken! “Calabash” refers to a method of frying something with just a light dusting of breader rather than a heavy batter. It originated in Calabash, NC as a way of preparing shrimp and other seafood (but mostly shrimp). Some recipes use flour, some use cornmeal and some use a mixture of both but almost all of them will be heavy on black pepper and call for marinating the protein in milk or buttermilk.

We have a restaurant chain here in the Carolinas and Georgia called Fatz Café that has perfected the art of calabash fried chicken (seriously, it’s sooooo goooooood!) so I set out to recreate it this weekend. I used whole boneless, skinless breasts and then cut them into thin strips to mimic the size of the shrimp that put “calabash style” frying on the map but feel free to use chicken breast tenderloins or, of course, shrimp!


Calabash Chicken
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
1 cup milk*
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
Breader:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Canola or peanut oil

Cut breasts into strips about 3/4-inch wide and add to a medium bowl or large zip-top plastic bag. Combine milk, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Add to chicken, stir, cover tightly or seal, refrigerate and marinate 12-18 hours.

Drain all marinade from the chicken; set chicken aside. Heat 4 inches of oil in a large pot to 350 degrees.

Combine flour with cornmeal salt, pepper and spices in a large paper bag or lidded container. Add 1/3 of the chicken to the breader mixture, fold bag or seal container tightly and shake vigorously to coat the chicken. Shake off any excess breader and fry chicken in batches (don’t overcrowd the pan) until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. The one pictured above is our favorite combo of 3 parts honey mustard and one part barbeque sauce (I hear this close to the Chick-Fil-A Sauce recipe).

*Substitute buttermilk and omit hot sauce if desired. Buttermilk AND hot sauce will be too acidic to marinate the chicken this long. The hot sauce does NOT make this spicy.

While sharing links to South Your Mouth © 2011 is welcomed and encouraged (please and thank you!), do not copy/paste full recipes to any social media (Facebook, etc.), blogs or websites without express written consent. Unauthorized use of content and photos from South Your Mouth © 2011 is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


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September 30, 2014

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

My Brutus loves peanut butter no-bake cookies. I like to make a chocolate drizzle to go over the top of them but realized I’d used all the cocoa making the chocolate cobbler a few weeks ago and wouldn't be able to make the drizzle.

Since Brutus is just like his daddy and doesn't like change. At all. Ever. I decided to tell him ahead of time that his favorite cookies would be a tad different than normal and wouldn't have the chocolate on top. He just sort of stared at me for a minute then a light bulb went off and he suggested I just use Hershey’s syrup. I explained to him why that wouldn't work and he started to walk away then whirled around and asked about adding chocolate chips. And when I told him the chocolate chips would melt if I did that he looked utterly defeated.

I told him I’d think of something and sent him on his way. You may think this sounds absurd but you've never had to deal with Husband when there aren't any onions for the tuna salad. My men are creatures of habit.

I decided to spread the cookie mixture into a pan, sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and hope there would be enough heat to melt the chocolate so I could smooth it over the top. If all that worked, I’d then just cut them into bars and hope for the best.

It worked! And it was crazy easy. Way easier than portioning out individual cookies and making a chocolate drizzle.

And most importantly, Brutus loved them!


No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
2 cups sugar
Dash of salt
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups uncooked oatmeal*
2 cups (12-oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Waxed paper

Line a 13x9 baking pan with waxed paper; set aside.

In a large saucepan bring to a boil the sugar, salt, butter and milk. Boil mixture over medium heat for 1 full minute. Remove from heat immediately.

Add peanut butter and vanilla; stir well. Add oatmeal and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and spread with a rubber spatula until level. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over hot oat mixture. Let chocolate chips rest for 5 minutes to melt and become pliable then spread chocolate evenly over oat mixture.

Cool, uncovered, for several hours until set (you can refrigerate once pan is at room temperature). Remove “slab” from pan by lifting up on waxed paper then cut into bars. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.

*I prefer quick-cooking oats vs. old fashioned in this recipe but either will work!

While sharing links to South Your Mouth © 2011 is welcomed and encouraged (please and thank you!), do not copy/paste full recipes to any social media (Facebook, etc.), blogs or websites without express written consent. Unauthorized use of content and photos from South Your Mouth © 2011 is a violation of both the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and copyright law.

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