Oftentimes, a certain ingredient is what pulls me into a recipe. Especially if that ingredient is one I have sitting in my pantry, and I need a way to use it up. That is what happened here – why I chose this recipe for these Buffalo Chicken Bites. Pancake Mix. Yep, you read that correctly – I made these just because of the pancake mix.
Let me just start off by saying I don’t necessarily have a problem with pancake mix. But growing up, my mom always made pancakes from scratch, and that is what I’m used to. And seriously, pancakes take so few ingredients, and ingredients that I pretty much always have on hand, so why not make them from scratch? Well, if you remember a little while back to those sausage bites I made. The original recipe called for “baking mix” but all I could find was pancake mix. So after I made the sausages, I still had half a box of pancake mix in my cupboard, staring at me every time I opened it up. I saw this recipe, and couldn’t pass it up!
I’m one of those people that think that you really can’t mess something up if it is fried. That is the case here. Delicious little fried bites of chicken. But honestly – I couldn’t taste the “buffalo” part that was supposed to be there. Neither could my husband. And I even added extra hot sauce. And even though that element was missing, we still managed to eat way too many of these babies!!
Recipe rating: 3.75 out of 5
Buffalo Popcorn Chicken Bites
adapted from Food Network Favorites
Makes 4 servings
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 1/2 cups complete pancake mix
1 1/4 cups water
10 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
1 1/4 pounds chicken tenders or chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
Good quality Blue Cheese Dressing
In a deep sided skillet, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil over medium heat to about 350F. Alternately, heat oil in a deep fryer.
While the oil is heating, make the batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the pancake mix, the water, and 8 teaspoons of the hot sauce.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup pancake mix in another bowl.
Once the oil is heated, toss the chicken pieces in the remaining 2 teaspoons hot sauce, then toss them in the dry pancake mix, coating evenly and shaking off any excess. Working in batches, add some of the chicken to the wet batter, shake off any excess and carefully add them to the hot oil. Fry for about 2 minutes on the first side, flip, and continue to cook for about 2 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all the chicken is fried.
Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, if desired.