Honey Fire Fried Chicken Tenders w/ Fried Jalapeno Mac n’ Cheese

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so we got a bit off the healthy train today.  Recently my wife and I had went out for a valentines dinner to this cool new restaurant in downtown Nashville, and one of the dishes served was mac n’ cheese topped w/ buffalo or “hot” chicken, which looked pretty awesome, so i’d been thinking of doing my own take on that same idea.

I’ve posted my mac n’ cheese recipe previously, so following those same steps (minus the baking portion) you would just refrigerate it in a pan, then cut out squares, freeze them for a bit, then bread and fry (using same recipe for the chicken strips below).

  • side note: this block of fried mac n’ cheese was WITHOUT the Guanciale from my previous recipe post, for this I used a couple jalapenos, and I also added in some pepperjack cheese to the recipe to give it a little more kick

So the main part to this post is how to bread the chicken for frying, and how to make the honey fire sauce to coat it in.

Chicken Breading

  • Chicken breasts (approx 2-3)
  • approx 1 cup flour
  • approx 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt/pepper (generous pinch of both)
  • smoked paprika (1/2 tbsp)
  • garlic powder (1 tbsp)
  • onion powder (1/2 tbsp)
  • Buttermilk (1 quart)
  • hot sauce (couple dashes)

To batter/coat/cook the chicken strips

  1. Cut chicken breasts into strips (around 3-4 strips per breast)
  2. soak all the strips in buttermilk, hot sauce, and seasonings for a few hours to overnight
  3. once the chicken has soaked for a while dredge the strips in a combo of flour/panko seasoned w/ salt & pepper, and smoked paprika, toss back into the buttermilk, and then coat in flour/panko again to get a nice thick coating on the chicken
  4. heat fryer to around 350°F-375°F before adding the chicken in
  5. cook until golden brown and crispy (approx 7ish minutes)
  6. drain on wire rack or plate lined with paper towels
    1. Follow all these steps for coating/frying the block of mac n’ cheese as well

Honey Fire Sauce

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup of water
  1. combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approx 15 mins until thickened
  2. once chicken is fried and drained, toss the chicken with the sauce (might be easier to move sauce to a bigger bowl at this point to toss) until well coated all over the chicken strips

Once everything is fried, drained, sauced, etc. then you can plate it all together.  What I did is put the block of fried mac n’ cheese on the bottom, then topped it with a few of the honey fire chicken strips, drizzled a little more sauce over top, and garnished with some green onion and sesame seeds.

Its a bit of a process to do it all, however if you have my mac n ‘ cheese for dinner one night, and have some leftovers in the fridge, that makes the whole process MUCH quicker, since you just have to batter and fry it all.  I had a pan leftover from making some for my wife to take to work for a potluck lunch yesterday, so it worked out perfect to fry this up today.  Either way, I highly recommend trying it out (even just the tenders with the sauce) its quite delicious.

Now that you’ve read this, i’m gonna go for about a 10 mile walk and then hit the gym.  Until the next cheat meal!

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