Scratch made focaccia is grilled to crusty perfection then smothered in sage scented brown butter
Chicken Fried Cheese Sticks
Frying. It’s right up there with barbecuing as one of the greatest cooking techniques the human race has developed.
In fact, I like to play a game called “what can’t you fry?” to challenge people to think of things that wouldn’t benefit from a few minutes in hot grease (PS the answers so far are only melon, berries and lettuce. If you can come up with others, I wanna know!).
Cheese is also a magical food, responsible amongst other things for elevating macaroni to a level beyond all other pasta. Greeks already know how amazing it can be to pan fry cheese, and have perfected it with their lemon-drizzled Saganaki.
Similarly, Texans are well versed on the virtues of frying, particular chicken-frying. Here’s a quick lesson, “chicken-fried” has nothing to do with actual chickens, but rather describes the type of batter used for the frying technique. So if something reads chicken-fried on a menu, you can expect that it will be coated in a flour mixture similar to regular Southern fried chicken. They’ve done this with chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, and even chicken fried bacon.
Now, if you’re following along, you may already have pieced together what happens next… yup, I decided to go next level and create chicken fried cheese! I used string cheese for my first attempt and they tasted amazing, but would recommend using mozzarella sticks because you get a great melty, gooey consistency that strong cheese doesn’t have.
I reckon these are best served with a marinara/tomato sauce, or even some Chipotle Tabasco.
Find the full recipe after these delicious pics! Pro-tip – I use an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil, because it’s quick, easy and doesn’t make a mess!
Chicken Fried Cheese Sticks
- 10 mozzarella sticks
- ¾ cup plain flour
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 4-6 dashes of hot sauce
- 1 egg
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Peel cheese from individual wrappers, place in a bag and freeze until solid, at least two hours.
- Combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl large enough to fit the cheese stick in horizontally.
- Place buttermilk, hot sauce and egg in another bowl of similar size, beat to combine ingredients.
- Preheat oil in saucepan over high heat. You want to ultimately get it to 350-375f.
- Remove sticks from freezer, coat in the flour mix.
- One at a time, dip sticks in egg mix allowing most excess to drip off, then back into the flour mix, then straight into the pan. Repeat until all sticks are done.
- Cook the sticks for 1-2 mins each, turning during cook to make them golden on all sides.
- Remove from pan, place onto paper towel and serve immediately.
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