Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Aaron McCargo, Jr.: Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls

When my sister said she wanted to make these for New Year's Eve, I was a little skeptical.  I mean, if you're going to go to all that trouble, why not just make hot wings?  Why make these?  Because they're magical-unicorn-buffalo-chicken-cheese-balls, that's why.  You're going to say no to chicken and melty cheese in a crispy crust with buffalo sauce?  Yeah, didn't think so.

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls
From Aaron McCargo, Jr.

1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
¼ cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1¾ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cup freshly sliced scallions
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying

Blue Cheese Dip
1½ cups mayonnaise
½ cup blue cheese crumbles
½ teaspoon Frank's Red Hot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Have oil heated to 350°F.

Pick the meat from the chicken and discard the skin. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the hot sauce, pepper, cheese, and scallions, and toss to combine. Roll the chicken into 2-ounce balls, about the size of a golf ball. Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Roll each ball
in the flour, then the egg and then the bread crumbs. Set aside.

When the oil is hot fry the chicken balls in batches. Cook for about 2 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken to paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil.

To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the chicken alongside the dipping sauce.

Makes 15 to 20 balls

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