Steelers game day grub: Copycat chicken


It’s that time of the week again. And this time it comes on a Thursday night. The Steelers take on the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC North battle that could set the tone for the future playoff race, except for the fact that the Ravens are currently 0-3 and playoffs are but a dream for them at this juncture.

The downside to this game is obviously that the Steelers have to play without Ben Roethlisberger, who is out for a few weeks with an MCL sprain. Mike Vick will lead the Steelers in a tough-fought grudge match these games are always known to be.

Hall of Fame and Steelers great running back Jerome Bettis will be honored at halftime of this game with his HOF ring. Last year, the Steelers honored HOF’er Joe Greene with a jersey retirement ceremony during the Ravens game. The Steelers responded with a 6-touchdown performance in a win over the Ravens. No pressure, Vick, but we’re kind of expecting that again, if at all possible.

If you were to eat a raven, which I’m sure I’d never do even if I was on one of those reality shows where you do really dumb stuff for money, I’d hope that they’d taste similar to chicken. And, since the Ravens have been trying to copy off of the Steelers franchise since their inception, I thought it best to use my favorite copycat chicken recipe.

This recipe copies the flavor of everyone’s favorite chicken fast-food place that you’re only hungry for on Sunday’s when they’re closed. Now you can have them all week long because you’re going to want to make a huge batch of this chicken to save for later.

When I say huge batch I mean huge. I’m talking at least six pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. This process is lengthy and starts at least a day ahead of time but I promise you that it’s totally worth it. Have I steered you wrong in the ways of food before?

Trim them and pound them to about a quarter of an inch thickness. Then you’re going to put them in a layer in a dish to marinate. Marinate the chicken at least overnight in pickle juice. Just regular old pickle juice.

You don’t have to get fancy with your pickles here. It’s truly a shame that you can’t just purchase pickle juice on your own and if you’ve got a pickle juice hook up, let me in on it, for the love of all things chicken.

The morning of the chicken frying you’re going to drain the pickle juice from the chicken and replace it with a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce. Pour in enough hot sauce that the color has a definite reddish/orange tint to is. We’re ain’t playing around here. We’re making some chicken!

Refrigerate the chicken in the new marinade of buttermilk and hot sauce for at least a few hours, that’s why you’ll want to do this in the morning. When it’s time to get this show on the road you’re going to need to gather your breading ingredients. There’s some odd ones in there but trust me, it all works out.

For the measurements, honestly I just dump this into a bag so I’ll try to estimate as best I can.

Copycat chicken courtesy of my house

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 TBS malted milk powder
  • 2 TBS powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 TBS paprika
  • 2 TBS black pepper
  • 2 TBS salt

What I can tell you about the seasonings is that if you mix all of the breading mixture together and it isn’t completely speckled with flakes of paprika and pepper, you need to add more. The malted milk powder was hard to find but once I did it make all the difference in the world. The powdered sugar is barely noticeable in flavor but helps brown the chicken and harden the coating.

My twin sister Jenn, partner in game day grub crime, has come up with what she is convinced is the perfect breading technique. You dip the chicken from the buttermilk in to the breading mixture and then lay flat on a lined baking sheet or cutting board, or whatever can hold all the chicken. Then freeze or refrigerate to let the coating really adhere to the meat and clean yourself up and get the oil heated up.

The suggestion here is to use peanut oil to fry them in, and I’m not saying that wouldn’t make a difference but peanut oil is friggin expensive so get yourself some canola or vegetable oil and you’ll be just fine.

Fry these in batches until they are that unmistakable brown and delicious looking color and you can keep the batch warm in a 200 degree oven while you finish frying the rest.

Now either put these suckers on a nicely buttered and toasted bun with some pickle slices (because you’ll totally have a crap-ton of pickles left over) or eat them however you wish the restaurant made them! They’re all yours!

Now let’s kick some Raven ass!

Enjoy the game and the grub!

Here we go Steelers! Here we go!

Next: Steelers Mike Vick at quarterback

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