Experiment in Terror

(I had the Moon-Rays in my head, and this *is* an experiment…)

Written elsewhere:

> So . . . um, how did the sandwich filling work out?
> Any recipes coming out of that?
> *hint, hint, nudge, nudge* ;-)

Thanks for the prod.

It was okay, but neither the filling or the sauce worked out as well as I’d hoped. So I’ll have to try it again before I post something. You were right though, after 5 hours in the crock, it became watery and muted in flavor. But I left the lid ajar and turned up the heat and it cooked down nicely. Tossing in an extra tablespoon of chipotle (I ran out of cayenne) at the last minute got the heat back up helped unmute the flavor, but it still tasted more like a thin BBQ sauce than a rich Buffalo sauce like I’d intended. I think I’ll just plan on adding the sauce after the chicken is cooked.

One good thing was that I learned that throwing chicken in the crock for five hours causes it to separate into fibrous pieces, as though I’d shredded it. Did the overnight marinade do this, or would it have happened anyway? And will the same thing happen with other meat? And is there a more expedient way than crock cooking?

The sauce also was pretty muted in flavor. I put together Gorgonzola, cream, and toasted sesame oil. It had a good texture, but the cream seemed to mask the other flavors.

I’m sure it was fine for everyone else, even Alice liked it. That’s right, my vegetarian ate one and a half chicken sandwiches. :)

In the meantime, here’s a simple Buffalo Blue sauce:

4 tbsp blue cheese (Gorgonzola)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp garlic powder

Gently heat cheese until soft. Combine with garlic, cayenne, and vinegar, mix, and serve. I want to try two variations: one with lime juice for instead of vinegar, and one with a little bourbon. :)

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5 thoughts on “Experiment in Terror

  1. The chicken sat in your concoction with cups of vinegar, right? Acid attacks protein — in the short term (a little balsamic vinegar on my steak for an hour or two before cooking), it makes the meat tender; in the long term with heat (hours in a crock), it can make it ‘shred’ and fall apart. Chicken will do so faster than lean pork which will fall apart faster than beef.

    I’ve never actually eaten any Buffalo chicken of any sort — wings, sandwich, etc., so I’m just guessing what sort of texture were you hoping to attain — chunks of chicken smothered in a thickish sauce? Would it work better to bake it?

    Thanks for posting on the results! ;-) I’m going to have to keep asking you what you’ve been cooking lately!

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  2. It marinated for 12 hours in the fridge and then cooked in the marinade for 5.5 hrs.

    Baking would probably work better, but I’ve never been able to cook chicken without it getting dried out (except when it’s ground). So I was hoping that the crock would prevent drying. I was trying for chunks, but I’ve been wondering how to shred meat, so now I know! The texture was fine other than the fact the the finished product rather resembled sloppy joe.

    Now I want to try shredded pork verde! I just need to think up a recipe. :)

    I don’t really cook too often; you pretty much hear about it when it happens.

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  3. I will be very curious to hear about your pork verde experiments. A frequent meal here is pork burritos using leftover pork loin shredded and cooked with green enchilada sauce, usually the canned variety.

    One thing you might want to try with your Buffalo chicken is to either soak it in buttermilk or even brine it overnight and then bake and cover with your Buffalo sauce. Buttermilk/soured milk tenderizes and keeps chicken moist but doesn’t break it down or leave a residual taste.

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  4. What’s the process for shredding pork?

    Thanks for the buttermilk tip. I’d been thinking of trying buttermilk sauce anyway, so I’m glad to know that it would work well for other reasons too. I just picked up some of my favorite bottled Buffalo sauce, BW3 Spicy Garlic, so my next quest to to make some from scratch. Guess what it has in it – buttermilk. But I’m not sure the dried peppers will work so well, so my real first step might be to finally smoke the cayennes I have in the freezer.

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