So there was this Scottish guy named Hume, right? (There was, I checked).
Hume was a philosopher, and he had a lot of damn good ideas, most of which I either don’t remember or don’t wanna talk about right now. But one of the big ones was that there’s no such thing as a new idea. Period. Any idea you think you have, anything you think is the most brilliant, groundbreaking shit on the planet, it’s been done. Sure, maybe you were the first one to put the words in that particular order, but you got the parts of that idea from someone, guaranteed.
I’m pretty certain that’s how today’s recipe happened. I was trying to come up with something to shove in my mouth, and I thought
“Man, I could go for some fried chicken.”
“With some corn flake breading. That stuff is crispy as the dickens, goddamn.”
“…well damn, if corn flakes works…there’s gotta be OTHER cereals that work. Right?”
See, there’s that Hume stuff happening. Have people covered chicken in cereal and fried it before? Yes. Have people enjoyed a bowl of delicious Apple Jacks before? Absolutely. I’m just taking a couple of already good ideas and combining them into Apple Jack Fried Chicken with Sriracha-Peanut Sauce. Now is that so wrong?
Here’s what you need:
– 3 pounds chicken parts (and leave the bones in, if I wanted a personality-less slab of fried meat I’d head over to a McDonald’s.)
– 3 cups apple jacks
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1 egg
– 2 cups AP flour (if you need more when you’re breading the chicken, add more. Obviously.)
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 dash salt
– 1 dash pepper
– 3 tbsp brown sugar
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
– 3 tbsp sriracha
– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Here’s what you do:
First off, a warning. I did this the wrong way. Completely, utterly wrong. It still came out nice and crispy, but the whole cooking process was horribly and inexcusably complicated. So this recipe’s gonna look a little different than the pictures I took. Deal with it.
Heat your oven to 375.
Take the apple jacks and put them in TWO big-ass plastic bags. If you only use one you’ll have apple jack dust all over your kitchen, and that’s gonna be a pain to clean up. Delicious, but a pain.
Use a rolling pin or a glass or a Flintstones-esque club and crush the apple jacks into small pieces. The smaller the better.
Once that’s done, add your spices: paprika, onion and garlic powder, and a little salt and pepper.
Put all of that goodness in a nice, wide bowl.
Get yourself two more wide bowls. Add the flour to one and the milk and egg to the other, and make sure you whisk that egg up.
Grab your chicken parts (well that’s not an awkward phrase) and dip each of them in each of the bowls, starting with the flour first, then the milk/egg, and finally the apple jacks. You wanna make sure each part gets REALLY covered, so don’t be afraid to flop ’em around a few times in each bowl to get them completely ready. Also don’t be afraid to make chicken noises while you’re doing it. Really adds to the flavor, I feel.
Once the chicken’s prepared, throw them on a baking sheet with some parchment paper on it and bake for 50 minutes. And yes, I know the recipe says “Fried Chicken”, boo-hoo. I like the nice, even cook you get from the oven, and “Baked Chicken” sounds like something your Aunt Mabel would make in a casserole dish with a can of Campbell’s and a cup of pent-up rage from her third failed marriage. If you wanna actually fry the stuff, I’m sure Paula Deen’s just a google search away.
While that’s in the oven, make your sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, then microwaving it for one minute. That’ll make sure that you don’t get clumpy globs of peanut butter clumping their way through your sauce. Give it another stir after it’s out of the microwave and you’re good to go.
All that’s left is to sauce up your chicken. Once it’s out of the oven, get yourself a basting brush (you know, the thing you use to brush on barbecue sauce at a barbecue) and baste the sauce on. Make sure you don’t get it TOO thick (like I did), otherwise the flavor in the sauce will overpower the rest of the flavors in there. That’s just not fair to those Apple Jacks, now is it?
Bonus points if you add some celery to the party and keep that apples and peanut butter theme goin’. I didn’t because I like eating things that aren’t 99.9% water and 0.01% grass, but if you like it, do it.
But you know the best side dish is a plate full of beats, and this week they’re coming straight from the kitchen of Gypdahip. Check out Funkorama (Summer 95′ Gypmix):
I feel like I should trust ol’ Hume on this one, mostly because he was way, way smarter than me. But also because the real conclusion isn’t as depressing as it seems the first time you read it. When you really get down to it, it’s not so much “you’ve never had a unique idea” as “everything’s inspired by something else”.
Debate it all you want (and trust me, a crapload of people have), but it makes sense to me, especially with all things involving food. Most of the ridiculously creative and “well damn I never thought of that before” stuff is just…stuff you already know, done in a new way. Red velvet cupcakes were all crazy and new when they first hit the scene, but red velvet cake and cupcakes were definitely old. Hell, 90% of the sauces you’ve ever had probably came from the five mother sauces. So don’t get caught up in trying to come up with the next, big, never-been-done-before thing. It’s been done. You’re just flipping the parts around.
See you next time.