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Super Bowl comfort food

When game day approaches, we all start thinking about food and drinks.

What better way to enjoy the game with some hearty comfort foods that are delicious and easy?

First, make this chicken and dip it in your homemade Buffalo sauce. Then, top a bowl of mac and cheese with the buffalo fried chicken and garnish with some sliced scallions.

Serve with your favorite cold or hot drink. Have a vegetable tray with dips on the side, and a dessert. Game day foods, done.

Using chicken thighs in this recipe saves money and they are super moist and delicious.

Buffalo fried chicken

Dry brine

6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Make this dry brine the day before the prep your chicken.

In a small bowl, mix your salt and sugar. Sprinkle it all over chicken thighs. Place the chicken into a plastic bag. You will not use all of the salt mixture. You can save it for the next time you use this recipe.

Place your plastic bag full of chicken into your refrigerator overnight. When you are getting ready to fry your chicken, set out the chicken an hour prior.

Chicken prep and breading

1 large egg, cold

1 cup buttermilk, cold

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1½ teaspoons plain or smoked paprika

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Neutral oil, for frying

Mix together your egg and buttermilk, until well combined. Set aside.

In a shallow dish, mix together all of your dry ingredients for your breading.

Take each piece of chicken and place it into the breading mixture to coat. Put the chicken on a parchment-lined sheet pan until each piece of chicken is coated.

To the remaining breading, add a couple of spoons of your buttermilk mixture. Toss the breading and the buttermilk together, until little nuggets of clumped up batter form.

Take each piece of chicken that has been floured and dip it into the buttermilk. Shake off any excess buttermilk from each chicken piece. Place each piece of chicken into the nugget-breading. Press the nugget-breading to adhere to each piece of chicken.

Set the prepped chicken thighs onto your lined baking sheet while your oil is heating up to fry. In a medium-sized deep pot, heat your oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, tested carefully with a kitchen thermometer. When the oil is ready, slowly place your coated chicken pieces into the hot oil, so that the oil will not splatter up at you. I slowly place each piece of chicken into the oil gently away from me. I use my sterilized hands or tongs to place the chicken into the pot. However, please use extreme caution doing so.

Fry your chicken between 325 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 5-8 minutes. This will depend on the size of the chicken thighs. The temperature should be between 175 and 180 Fahrenheit when tested done with your kitchen thermometer.

Place onto a wire rack to cool. Keep your fried chicken on warm in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit until all of your chicken is fried.

Buffalo sauce

1/3 of a cup of Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

2½ tablespoons of unsalted butter

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce; optional heat

In a small saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat. Add the rest of your ingredients. Whisk together, heat through and set aside.

Optional serving suggestions

• Warm up your Buffalo sauce. Drizzle the sauce over your fried chicken or serve on the side as a dipping sauce.

• Place fried chicken to top of homemade mac and cheese or alongside freshly made potato salad.

• Slice rolls and build a fried chicken sandwich, adding shredded cold, crunchy lettuce mixed with celery then blue cheese dressing on top.

Sarah Schweitzer is dual-certified in Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. She is a former line cook for Chef Robert Irvine at “Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine” which was located at the Downtown Allentown Market. Sarah is currently working as a Sous-Chef at Ateira’s on First and has her own blog simplysarah.online. She can be reached at sarah.schweitzer18@gmail.com.

Buffalo fried chicken with mac and cheese