"Instead of the traditional and now rather expensive chicken wings, I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in my version of this popular snack. It's best to use natural, high quality chicken. The Maytag dip can be made up to 4 days ahead of time, but definitely start this dish at least a day ahead of time to let the chicken marinate. Serves 4 as a main dish, 8-12 as an appetizer." I believe this recipe was given to my by a member of Cook's Talk, but I can't remember whom. It took me three weeks to find my precious paper copy, so I've transcribed it here for safekeeping. It's good stuff.
For the chicken
- 1⁄4 cup Bourbon
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
For the dip
- 1⁄4 lb maytag blue cheese, crumbled
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced scallion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne
For the sauce
- 1⁄4 cup Crystal hot sauce (or another brand of cayenne hot sauce such as Frank's or Durkee, but not a fiery sauce like Tabasco)
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1⁄3 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with
- 1⁄4 cup water
For finishing the dish
- vegetable oil, about 1 quart (for frying)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 coloured bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips (orange, red or yellow)
- 1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled, cut into spears
- 1 celery heart, washed and drained, cut into sticks
- Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, combine the bourbon, soy sauce and lemon juice.
- Trim and discard any visible fat on the chicken thighs.
- Cut each lengthwise into 5-6 strips.
- Toss the strips in the bourbon mixture; cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Make the dip: Blend half the cheese with the mayonnaise in a food processor until smooth.
- Add the sour cream and vinegar, and process until the mixture has the consistency of a creamy mayonnaise.
- Add the scallions, parsley and dill and process again briefly.
- Add the remaining cheese and process very briefly (the dip should be slightly chunky), remove from the food processor, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Wrap well and refrigerate up to four days.
- Make the sauce: In a small saucepan, whisk together all of the ingredients.
- Heat while whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.
- The sauce should be smooth and slightly thickened.
- Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- Finish the dish: Heat the oven to 250 degrees.
- Pour enough oil into a wok or deep, heavy pot to reach about 2 inches.
- Heat the oil to 365 degrees or until the oil shimmers.
- Meanwhile, drain the chicken well and pat it dry on paper towel.
- s Season with the pepper, then dredge each piece in flour, shaking off any excess.
- Carefully fry the chicken in batches until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
- Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels while frying the remaining chicken.
- When all the chicken is cooked, place it in a large bowl, pour the sauce overtop, then toss to coat.
- Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for about 5 minutes so the sauce is absorbed.
- Serve immediately with the dip and vegetables.