Back on Day 1 of the 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes, we said this year’s Football Foodie theme was going to be smaller, easier dishes to round out your Super Bowl table. Side items to supplement the giant smoked briskets, 6-foot sandwiches, and 25-layer dips you’ve already planned on serving this Sunday. Main courses are great, but we all know it is the sides that complete the feast. And just because it is a side dish, doesn’t mean it has to be wimpy and light.
On Sunday, while every newly-minted New Orleans Saints fan will be gorging on Reggie Bush, some of us will be filling our plates with a monster helping of Pierre Thomas. Cheering for Peyton Manning? Awesome, but I think I’ll take a big old heaping of Gary Brackett racing towards Drew Brees instead. For every sexy, boldfaced name’ like Dallas Clark there is a surfeit of talented Austin Collies and Pierre Garcons to load your plate up with during the Super Bowl.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you the star players are the main attraction during the Super Bowl.
And don’t ever let anyone tell you meat is not a side dish.
14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Chicharrones de Pollo
You will need…
1/4 cup of dark rum
1/4 cup of lime juice
1/4 cup of soy sauce (For a spicier dish, use Tabasco soy sauce.)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces (I used a mix of both.)
1-2 cups of vegetable oil (Enough for at least an inch of oil at the bottom of the pan.)
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 -1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
Combine the rum, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar in a deep bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken and fully coat in the marinade and let it sit out on the counter for 30 minutes. If making ahead of time, be sure to bring your chicken and marinade to room temperature before frying for the same 30 minute resting period. (Don’t worry, it will not kill you if the chicken isn’t freezing cold before cooking.)
After marinating, drain the chicken pieces and pat dry. Combine the flour, salt and paprika on a plate to make a dredging station for the chicken pieces. Cut up the limes so they’re ready to go when the chicken is finished frying.
Coat each piece of chicken thoroughly with the flour mixture.
Heat up the oil over medium heat until the surface starts to shimmer. If you are not quite sure if your oil is hot enough to cook with (cooler oil will seep into your food and make it soggy), take a pinch of flour and toss it into the pan. The flour should quickly sizzle, telling you it’s time to get frying.
Working in small batches, fry each piece of chicken until they’re a deep golden brown, about three to four minutes on each side. Approximately about the same amount of time it takes to get through one Super Bowl commercial break.
Don’t let the marketing folks fool you, there is no reason to sit through all the ads during the Super Bowl. One, it’s still an ad and if you need to cling to advertising just to have something to talk about on Monday with your dull-ass coworkers, it might be time for you to look for a new job, I don’t care how bad the economy is in your respective industry. Or at least bring in your water so you don’t have to engage with the dullards around your office who only can talk about how yet again, Danica Patrick tricked them into going online just to see her not get naked for the hundredth time but really they were hoping this would be the spot she would pull down the zipper ALL THE WAY DOWN on her GoDaddy.com jacket. (Ed. note – All TheStarterWife related domains are provided by GoDaddy.com!)
Secondly, if the spot is good enough, the ad agencies already posted it on their “viral” company YouTube/Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/Tumblr/LinkedIn/FourSquare/Social Circle pages and have spoon-fed it to their PR teams and related blogger street teams to get the ad in front of your tired eyeballs first thing the next day. You will have little choice but to watch the commercials on Monday morning, which is actually to your benefit. Since no one wants to work with a hangover, make up whatever excuse you can to catch up on all the ads once you actually make it into the office. Work in IT? Checking the company firewalls. Finance? Want to see what other companies are wasting their cash reserves on multi-million ad buys. HR? Someone told you that the commercial might be offensive and so-and-so-Sad-Sack overheard so-and-so-Mister-or-Miss-Bully playing it on their computer and you want to make sure the company hasn’t opened itself up to a sexual harassment suit. (Thanks, Tebow!) Cubical Dweller? Damn the man and watch all the ads you want, especially if they annoy the other people around the cube farm. Boss? You’re in the office? What’s the point of being in charge if you cannot come in late after a holiday?
But most importantly, Super Bowl commercial breaks are valuable drink making, plate reloading, and peeing time. No talking about the previous play, no switching seats, and its certainly not the time to text your buddy back in Miami to see if the stadium is going crazy wait for The Who. That is what official reviews are for. Commercials are for being away from the television.
Where were we? Oh yeah, chicharrones de pollo.
Remove from the pan an drain on paper towels before plating, Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce, garnish with parsley or cilantro.
Day 8 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Mixed Fruit and Blueberry Salsas
Day 7 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Pro Bowl Pretzel Bread
Day 6 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Wasabi Peas
Day 5 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: New Orleans Style Pimm’s Cups & Cucumber Tapas
Day 4 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Smokey Cowboy Caviar
Day 3 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Citrus Marinated Warm Olives
Day 2 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Fried Chickpeas (Ceci Fritos)
Day 1 – 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes: Salted Honey Roasted Pecans
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine, Sept 2007. (RIP Gourmet)