Crispy Chicken Bites with Smoky BBQ & Chilli Dipping Sauce
Every once in a while you just feel like throwing a bunch of ingredients into a bowl and seeing what happens - and that is exactly what I did with today's recipe. Sure I hedged my bets with juicy, moist chicken thighs and crispy Japanese panko bread crumbs and then of course the yummy sour cream dipping sauce. When I make this dipping sauce again, I would probably try throwing in some finely chopped pickled jalapenos - I really don't know how I forgot to try that this time. Anyway, these little flavoursome bites taste so much better than those store bought processed chicken nuggets and they don't even take that much extra work.
While I have presented these as an appetizer, you could easily serve as a meal with chips and salad or you could go more exotic and serve it with steamed rice, pickled vegetables, my fresh Asian Sesame Coleslaw and a warming Katsu Curry - who else is saying oh yes please!
YOU WILL NEED
6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs roughly chopped into roughly 4cm | 1.25 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
2 heaped tablespoons fresh Parmesan Cheese (the fine, powdered kind in the refrigerated section)
2 tablespoons of your favorite smoky BBQ sauce
1 teaspoon French or American mustard (or any mild mustard)
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
1+1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (or do a mix of panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds of the same total quantity)
Extra salt and pepper
Oil for frying
1/2 cup sour cream or good quality mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons of your favorite Smoky BBQ sauce (start with two and see if you like more)
2-3 teaspoons of Sriracha Chilli Sauce (depending on how spicy you like it)
Some finely chopped jalapenos (optional)
Some freshly chopped spring onion and chilli flakes for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl add the chopped chicken, pepper, salt, chilli powder, chilli flakes, minced garlic, Italian herbs, Parmesan cheese, BBQ sauce, and mustard and mix to combine until all the chicken is well covered with your marinade. Set aside, covered in the fridge for approximately 30-40 minutes.
When ready to fry your chicken remove from the fridge and set aside.
In a measuring jug or bowl add the milk and vinegar, give a quick stir and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before using.
In a small-medium bowl add the panko bread crumbs and season with a generous pinch of salt and a little pepper.
Add enough oil to coat the entire bottom of a large non-stick frying pan and begin heating the oil over medium heat.
Begin a construction line with your bowl of chicken, the jug of milk, your bowl of panko crumbs and a plate to set the ready to fry chicken aside in and using two forks, dip the chicken into the milk and then into the panko crumbs, tossing to ensure it is well coated. Place onto your plate and repeat with all the chicken.
Carefully add the chicken into the heated oil and continue frying until golden brown, turning as needed to get an even color over your chicken. Turn the heat down if you need to. Once cooked, rest the chicken on a clean plate covered with a couple of absorbent paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Continue until all the chicken is cooked, adding more oil if need.
To make your dip, take a small mixing bowl and add the mayonnaise or sour cream, BBQ sauce and Sriracha chilli sauce and pour into a serving bowl.
Sprinkle both the chicken and dip with a few chopped spring onions and chilli flakes if desire and serve immediately.
SERVES 6-8 AS AN APPETIZER OR 4 AS PART OF A MAIN MEAL