Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

As I recently mentioned, I’m a sucker for sauces. I don’t think I could ever chose just one favorite, but I think honey mustard is towards the top of the list. Honey mustard seems to go especially well with chicken and pretzels, so pretzel crusted chicken and honey mustard dipping sauce seemed like a match made in heaven. And it was!

My friend Nikki recently shared the recipe she uses for honey mustard, so I used that as a jumping off point. Side note, I said “recently” then when I went to copy the URL I realized the post was from January. Wow. Time flies!! I wanted a stronger mustard taste so I cut the mayonnaise in half and added a little dijon mustard. The result was a dipping sauce that I easily could have eaten with a spoon.

For the chicken, I used a classic breading method. We loved how crunchy the crust was, and it really seemed to hold in the moisture of the chicken. It was really the perfect vehicle for the honey mustard dipping sauce.

 

 

Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce

**Slight Recipe Edit 8/13/12, changes noted in italics and below the recipe**

Over the past several years Buffalo Sauce has become quite the fad ingredient. I’ve seen it used in pasta, on pizza, in casseroles, and in dip known to some as “Crack Dip”… For most people I think it’s a love it or hate it type of situation. For me, I love it.

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of dip like sauces, and when I discovered Buffalo Sauce – I fell in love. Buffalo Wild Wings (B-dubs) was the place to hangout in high school. 10 cent wing Mondays and 15 cent boneless wing Tuesdays. Of course, the price slowly increased and I think a few years later they dropped the deal nights entirely, but the flavor of Buffalo sauce still brings me right back to those days of cruising around all day with my friends and then heading to B-dubs for a cheap (and delicious!) dinner.

My favorite sauce was always the Spicy Garlic and last week I really had a craving for it. I knew if I wanted to satisfy my craving I would need to make my own sauce. I found a copycat recipe that looked pretty good, but it still used a lot of Franks Red Hot. I have a bottle of Red Hot but it was pretty pricy so I wasn’t that excited about having to use almost the whole thing to make my own sauce. Also, one thing I have always liked about B-dubs sauce is that it is thick and emulsified, so it doesn’t separate when used in recipes or on wings. So I kept that recipe in mind and continued searching and until I found another recipe that looked good. I took the best of both recipes and combined it to make, what I think, was an awesome sauce.

It’s not exactly like B-dubs sauce, but Jesse and I both really liked it! Spicy, garlicky, smooth, and thick.

Homemade Spicy Garlic Buffalo Sauce

Ingredients
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar*
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ***
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp course ground black pepper
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp canola oil
1 egg yolk***
2 Tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tsp corn starch

*The recipe originally called for Rice Wine Vinegar, which I thought I had but turns out I did not. I used Apple Cider Vinegar instead and I think it really worked. 
**Feel free to add more or less of each spice, to suit your own taste. 

*** 8/13/12 – After some experimentation I have decided that egg yolk is not necessary, reducing the vinegar and adding the little bit of corn starch is plenty sufficient for thickening the sauce. I also decided that 1 tsp of smoked paprika could be a little overpowering, and 1/2 tsp is just right.

Directions
To a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the vinegar, dry spices, salt, sugar, black pepper, and canola oil. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture starts to thicken.

While the vinegar and spices are simmering, whisk together the egg yolk, water, and cornstarch. Temper the yolk mixture by adding a few teaspoons of the hot vinegar mixture to the liquid and whisk. Repeat two times, then stream the now warm yolk mixture into the sauce pan, whisking constantly. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into a container for storing. Add additional water, as needed, if the sauce becomes too thick.

Optionally, pour the sauce into a heat proof measuring cup and use an immersion blender to make it extra smooth.

Use on wings, as a dipping sauce for fries, in your favorite Buffalo sauce recipe, or on Buffalo Chicken Sliders (recipe coming this week!).

Adapted from Domestic Fits and wlkr.org

In case you’re wondering where I got the bottle –  It’s just a “reused” juice bottle 🙂

How can I use this sauce??
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Buffalo Chicken Bites
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells
Easy One-Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Homemade Chocolate Syrup




I am sure that by now it’s pretty obvious how much I love finding ways to make typically store bought things at home. Pretty much everything I make and blog about can technically be classified as “homemade” since, well, I make it all at home mostly from scratch. But I’m talking about the posts where I recreate things that you normally associate with store bought brands. Like when I made Milano Cookies, Oreos, Funfetti Cupcakes, Fish Sticks, Hamburger Buns, and Mayonnaise. Now that I’m in China and certain kitchen staples are a little harder to come by, you will probably find a lot more of these kinds of posts.

I am a nut for chocolate milk. Like at least a glass a day, sometimes two, kind of nut. So when Annie posted a recipe for homemade chocolate syrup a few months ago, I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. I knew it would be love at first sip, and it was. I may or may not have drizzled a little directly into my mouth from the squeeze bottle. Rich chocolaty goodness! And of course, as I have found with a lot of DIY foods, it is so much easier than I thought it would be!

As with most things, the quality of ingredients you use will directly relate to the results that you get. Using Hershey’s cocoa powder won’t mean that your syrup is bad or gross, but it won’t be quite as good as if you use a better brand. I had Ghirardelli on hand, which isn’t the highest quality in the market but is a step up, and my results were great.


Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder, making sure to break up any lumps in the cocoa. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir in the water and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it has reached a boil, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the mixture to thicken. Once the mixture has thickened remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Store in the refrigerator.

Use for chocolate milk, ice cream topping, brownie topping, or any recipe that calls for chocolate syrup.

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from 52 Kitchen Adventures