Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sweet Potato Hash and Spicy Chicken Strips

Brian Boitano (yes, the ice skater) has a new show on Food Network called "What Would Brian Boitano Make?" The answer is "bacon." Brian Boitano really seems to like bacon.

I decided to make the Bacon Cups with Sweet Potato Hash AND the Spicy Fried Chicken Bites with Derby Dip. Both recipes have, you guessed it, bacon. I did make some modifications to the chicken, but I'll note those in the recipe.

Sweet Potato Hash

Bacon Cups with Sweet Potato Hash
Courtesy of Brian Boitano

Bacon Cups:

* 24 slices pancetta, sliced 1/16-inch thick (pancetta is a fancy word for ROUND BACON, if you can't find it I don't see any reason in the world thin sliced strips wouldn't work)

Sweet Potato Hash:

* 4 strips bacon (used about 50 grams/2 oz bacon pieces)
* 1 large sweet potato, small diced
* 4 stalks celery, diced
* 1 small yellow onion, diced
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 24 fresh parsley leaves


For Bacon Cups:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Carefully place a slice of pancetta (round bacon) in one of the cups of the muffin tin making sure to gently press it into the cup like pie dough in a pie shell. Repeat with remaining slices of pancetta (round bacon). Carefully place the second muffin tin on top of the first so that the pancetta round bacon) is sandwiched in between the 2 tins. Flip the muffin tins upside down and place onto a sheet tray and bake in oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove the top muffin tin. Let the cups cool slightly before removing to another baking sheet lined with paper towels.

For Hash:

In a large skillet over medium heat brown the bacon. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. In the skillet with the bacon fat, add potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika and season with salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender about 12 minutes (it took more like 20 for everything to be cooked through but maybe I didn't dice my sweet potato small enough). Crumble in cooked bacon and stir to combine.

For Assembly:

Fill each bacon cup with a tablespoon of the hash and garnish with a parsley leaf.

The Verdict: The bacon cups use a mini muffin tin, but since I don't have a mini muffin tin I used a regular one. Somehow, I didn't take into consideration that bacon SHRINKS when it cooks, so I have little bacon saucers instead of bacon cups! I think the mini muffin cups would've made this look better, but it didn't really effect the taste so I wasn't too bothered. They were delicious, by the way. I'd make the hash without the bacon cups as a side dish in the future, it's really quite good.


Now for the Spicy Chicken Bites!

I made some adjustments to this recipe so I could bake the chicken instead of frying it, but I hope I captured the main idea.

Spicey Chicken Strips

Spicy Fried Chicken Bites with Derby Dip
Courtesy of Brian Boitano


4 strips bacon (I didn't use this much since I'd already had the bacon in the hash)
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken (I used chicken tenders)
2 cups buttermilk (I didn't measure this, just poured enough to cover the chicken)
2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Tabasco sauce)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (this really sounded like a lot, but since you double dip the chicken it's actually pretty close to a good amount)
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (I wimped out and only used half this amount)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt (start with 1 tsp and work your way forward if you think it needs more salt)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups canola oil (I ditched this since I decided to bake the chicken instead)

Derby Dip:

* 3/4 cup sour cream
* 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup blue cheese, room temperature, cut into small pieces (I used Danish Blue)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the bacon onto a baking sheet and bake until crisp about 12 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Once the bacon is cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces. (I skipped this entire step and fried it up with the bacon from the first recipe)

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces (Again, I used chicken tenders, so I skipped this). In a large bowl combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, and chicken. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

In a glass baking dish, whisk together the flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and add to the seasoned flour. Make sure all the chicken pieces are thoroughly coated. Remove the chicken from the flour mixture and put back into the buttermilk. Remove chicken from buttermilk and put back into the seasoned flour mixture for a second coating (instead of redipping in flour, I rolled them in panko crumbs). Transfer the double coated chicken to a baking sheet and reserve.

Heat the canola oil in a large cast iron skillet to 350 degrees F. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Working in batches, fry the chicken until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a sheet pan lined with paper towels. (If you decide to bake the chicken instead, do so for 15-28 minutes at 375 F).

In a medium bowl stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise and blue cheese. Stir in the crumbled bacon.

Serve the chicken with the Derby Dip on the side.

The Verdict: I thought this was good! It had a bit of a kick but wasn't super hot. Next time I'd try a bit more cayenne pepper like the recipe says.


Susie said...

Now that you mention it, he is really fixated on bacon, isn't he? Great reviews:-)

Amy said...

You make the best looking food ever! If you lived closer I would seriously consider hiring you to cater my meals. If I had money, that is.

Sarah said...

Ok, NOW I will make this. It sounded really good the first two times I read about it but I don't like to fry things. Your post pretty much sealed the deal - make it and bake it! Thanks for trying it out for me :) Are you going to try something Greek next week?

Anonymous said...

Oh your so good, I really want to do the bacon cups also, but couldn't find pancetta and didn't have mini tins. But I am so happy to hear that you loved it so maybe I can try it one day.

Love your changes on the chicken, I think if I do this recipe again I will use strips instead of bites. and I love that you baked the chicken, I should try that.

Kristen said...

Although you certainly can sub bacon for pancetta, if a person can find it and budget allows, I personally would recommend it! It's not smoked like American bacon so the flavor is a little different, and it only comes from the belly (american bacon can come from the sides which IMO don't taste as nice!). I actually saw this particular episode where he made all the bacon stuff and thought it sounded kinda yucky when he was doing it.

You make it look much tastier than he did! Move over Brian, "What Would Mub Make?" sounds like a plan to me! ;)

mub said...

Kristen- that's good info! I suspect bacon is a little bit different everywhere... the stuff I found wasn't smoked so I think it was a pretty close approximation =)

Tanya said...

This looks wonderful. These are from the episode I actually watched:)

SnoWhite said...

wow -- you really dove in all the way this week! These both look fantastic. I was a little nervous that the spice would be too much -- but it's good to know they are okay with less spice :)

Noodle said...

I don't let my hubby read your blog cause I feel like I come up short in the cooking department and yeah you cook like a resterant... Yeah you suck cause your way too awasome... =) Love you but I'm totaly jealous of your skill....

Sharon said...

I just ordered some custom made bacon from a local farmer... never done that before... perhaps I should invite Brian Boitano?!

Thena said...

Popping in from SITS. Loving your recipe especially the one for Spicy Chciken Bites. Can't get it to spicy for my husband and son.

DiPaola Momma said...

Okay so I THOUGHT I was the only blogger to mention Brian's new show. Little did I know you WAY out did ME with actually posting recipes! I stopped by from SITS when I saw that puppet on your back in your avi.. I'm gonna stick around for LUNCH though!!!

Yankee Girl said...

Brian Boitano has his own show? I didn't know he was a cook. Not once in my life have I asked myself "What would Brian Boitano make." I might end up doing that now!

Found you on SITS!

4 Lettre Words said...

Okay...everyone in my life knows how I really LOVE bacon, so I know those are great!

I will give the chicken a try, too. Yum!

Anonymous said...

I like the chicken idea...thanks for the baking instructions because I really hate hate hate frying. So do my thigh thigh thighs! ;-D

thatgirlblogs said...

I'm not usually a bacon fan but those look delicious!

Gabrielle said...

They look fabulous! Nice photographs. I work at a nursery and we potted up 600 peonies from the Netherlands today, interesting that I would find your blog, today!!

I am Harriet said...

YUM! That looks wonderful!

Stopping by via SITS.
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I had to blink and look up wtf hash is supposed to be, because the only meanings I could think of were canabis (which I didn't think was the point), # and using hash as a verb.

Mrs4444 said...

Holy cow! These look delicious!

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