Not every dish needs to be sophisticated, interesting, elevated, or unique. Not every dish needs fancy ingredients, (call me guilty, dulce-de-leche frosting). Sometimes you want something junky but fabulous and you know what? Craving JBF is okay. Let's give each other permission, as foodies, to enjoy chocolate covered potato chips and corn dogs without guilt!
Amongst other things, JBF is usually cheap, plentiful, easy to make, and a wild crowd pleaser; I'm talking to you American-style tacos and pigs-in-a-blanket. Here's what I suggest when the JBF craving hits, though... make it yourself. At home, you know exactly what's going into the food, and you know exactly how deep into the calorie hole you're falling. Not entirely comforting I know, but it's better than contemplating the contents of "secret sauce."
So, with that in mind, I give you:
Honey-BBQ Popcorn Chicken
1 lb chicken tenders or any boneless, skinless chicken (cut into popcorn-sized pieces)
3 cups+ white or whole wheat flour
2 cups+ whole wheat bread crumbs (they add a nice flavor, but if you have plain white, no worries)
1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional)
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
Salt and pepper
2/3 cup BBQ sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tbs hot sauce
2 tbs Worcestershire
Vegetable Oil (for frying)
Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing (for dipping)
-Heat oil. Combine 2 cups flour, 2 cups bread crumbs, and sesame seeds, with salt and pepper in one bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs in one bowl. In plastic bag, add 1 cup flour and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
-Place chicken pieces in plastic bag with flour and coat well. In batches, place chicken in buttermilk, then transfer to crumb mixture and coat well, before frying. You might have to replenish the crumb and flour bowl sometime in the process. Any excess dripping from the buttermilk will make the crumbs and flour too moist to coat properly.
-The chicken will fry very quickly, no more than 4 minutes until golden and cooked through. Set aside in a paper towel lined bowl, until all the chicken is fried.
-In a small pot, heat BBQ sauce, honey, ketchup, hot sauce, and Worcestershire. Mix well and taste. Adjust to your liking; sweeter, tangier, or spicier. Bring to boil. Immediately, toss the sauce with the chicken and serve with either blue cheese or ranch dressing.