The past few months have been full of adventures and changes. I was in Copenhagen for a course through my uni, and it was the most amazing time. I got back, moved house, and have been setting up a new kitchen and delaying the inevitable tears of updating this bad boy and missing my time overseas.
I fulfilled my life-long dream of going to Paris, and met so many new (amazing, incredible, thoroughly missed) people. Most importantly, I ate my little heart out and have permanent souvenirs (french cheese will never leave my arteries, and I would never want it to). I took photos of everything i ate, and even if I’m the only one who (sad and late at night) appreciates it, I hope it finds some inspiration for other cooks. Or just inspires jealousy. I’m jealous of my European summer self.
I am so lucky to have had this opportunity, and I can’t wait to share. In the meantime, this is my seriously American recipe.
Buffalo chicken is one of my main existential drives – raison d’être, if you will forgive the wank, it is about buffalo chicken after all – but the typical recipe is literally fried chicken with a sauce that is 1:1 tabasco to butter. It’s a walking heart attack. While I am all for gluttony, you have to draw lines in the cellulite somewhere. I can’t eat that chicken every day as I would like to.
So I made my own spin. Its baked, not fried (like the chips that are healthy, but not healthy) and the sauce uses butter(milk) instead of butter. I tell myself its better for me, but really it just allows me to put more bleu cheese sauce on it. I’ve also spun this a few different ways for the veggies/spice intolerant.
Buffalo Chicken/Tofu For the Weak/Dieters
Chicken (I used a combo of wings and chopped skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″x2″ chunks) OR Tofu (it MUST be firm) cut into slices about 1/2″ thick
Paprika (smoked for those who don’t like spice, hot for those who do)
Ground Chili (to taste)
Salt and Pepper
Milk (whole preferable)
Lemon (half a lemon)
Tabasco (to taste)
First, preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Grease baking tray To make buttermilk marinade, combine 1cup milk : 1 half lemon, squeezed. This looks gross, but buttermilk is literally just curdled milk. Leave for 5 minutes. Whisk in egg, which should emulsify the buttermilk and make it less… chunky. This is where you get to tailor this to preference/spice – put in as much tabasco as you think you can handle. Do it by colour – the ‘angrier’ the red, the more spicy. The pinker, the wimpier. I judge. I use about 2 tablespoons, which makes it nicely hot. To increase flavour/heat, marinade your meat/substitute, but this works well without marinading. Depends on your timeframe.
Mix flour with dry ingredients. Set up stations – flour, buttermilk (if marinading, remove meat from marinade and set aside). Place meat in buttermilk mixture (skip for marinated meats) and then coat in flour. Dip back in buttermilk and then back in flour. I use two forks to make this easier. Repeat until all chunks have been covered adequately.
Place in oven, and use canola spray to grease the top of the chunks. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip. Bake for a further 20 minutes.
Bleu Cheese Sauce:
Blue cheese (gorgonzola, whatever)
Buttermilk (see above)
Again, this is typically cheese and mayonnaise/sour cream. This is marginally better. Melt gorgonzola in a cup. Add in a dollop of yogurt, and a dash of buttermilk and whisk until its creamy/consistent. This is all about taste preferences, and if you don’t like blue cheese, you can also just add in a raw minced clove of garlic + buttermilk + yogurt. Tangy.
I served this with a wedge salad (quartered head of iceberg lettuce, parsley, bleu cheese sauce and crumbled blue cheese) and a baked potato. Its still not a meal for the health conscious, but certainly not for those with an early and untimely death wish.
With love, from Charlotte