Well not totally... but the laundry is piling up, I can't remembed the last time I vacuumed the house, and meals have been on the fly, thus blogging has not been too high on the priority list.
But, a few weeks ago Seth and I (and I include Seth on this because he helped me make them so we could spend time together) made Gluten Free Popcorn Chicken Bites and they were amazing.
Here is the thing, I like to eat pretty healthfully and I honestly can't remember the last time I ate Chicken Selects at McDonalds with Buffalo and Ranch sauces, but I have to admit sometimes those kinds of foods just really hit the spot. Ask me how I felt after I ate them and its a different story, but there is this place in my mind where I imagine what it would be like to be able to eat them again, and now I can (thank you Rachel Ray for cooking with something other than flour!).
Buffalo Popcorn Chicken Bites
Vegetable oil, for frying (we used Corn Oil for half the batch because I ran out of Veg. Oil)
2 1/2 cups complete pancake mix, any brand, divided (I had a gluten free biscuit and baking mix on hand and it worked great, TJ's carries a GF pancake mix though)
1 1/4 cups water
8 teaspoons hot sauce, divided
1 1/4 pounds chicken tenders or chicken breast cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 cup store bought, good quality refrigerated blue cheese dressing (GF'ers steer clear of the blue cheese, many kinds actually contain gluten, we used ranch instead)
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, 1/3 palm full
Cut celery sticks, store bought
In a deep sided skillet heat 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil over medium heat. If you wish to test the oil, add a 1-inch cube of bread to hot oil. If it turns deep golden brown in color in a count of 40, the oil is ready.
While the oil is heating make the batter. In a wide mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the pancake mix, 1 1/4 cups water and about 6 teaspoons hot sauce. Place the remaining plain 1/2 cup pancake mix in another wide mixing bowl. Arrange the batter and the bowl of plain pancake mix near the cook top and the heating oil. Line a plate with a few sheets of paper towels and keep within reach.
Once the oil is heated and ready, toss the chicken pieces in 2 teaspoons of hot sauce then toss in the plain pancake mix, coat evenly and shake off excess. The plain dry pancake mix will help the batter stick to the chicken pieces. Add some of chicken to the batter, you are going to want to work in 3 to 4 batches coating and frying. Using a fork, toss the bites in the batter. Remove the first batch from the batter, shaking off the excess batter as you carefully add them to the hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes on the first side, or until the first side is a deep golden brown, flip and continue to fry for another 2 minutes or until deep golden brown all over. Remove from the oil and drain on the paper towel lined plate, season with salt. Repeat until all the popcorn chicken bites are fried. Serve immediately with refrigerated, good quality creamy blue cheese prepared dressing with chopped scallions and black pepper stirred into it for dipping. Garnish platter with celery sticks.It is kind of an intense process, but it is totally worth it.