The basic idea for this recipe came from Bonnie Harvey, a grandma from Merkel, Texas, who shared how to make her favorite tailgating chicken in a collection of “grandma bests” close to 20 years ago. We’ve adapted it to make it honey dipped, and switched up the crumb coating to panko, rather than cracker crumbs–although you can use crushed saltines if you like. There are several steps to getting the chicken coated and crisped to perfection before dunking it in a sherried honey/soy glaze and baking low and slow to sticky, tender, doneness. But, wow! So worth it. You’ll definitely need to make some for your next tailgating party.
Makes Makes 8 servings
Chicken and Crumb Coating Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 8 large leg-with-thigh-attached (pinwheels) pieces of chicken OR 12 thighs
- 4 eggs, beaten well
- 3 cups (about 1, 8-ounce box) panko bread crumbs OR crushed saltine cracker crumbs (1 1/2 sleeves)
- vegetable oil for deep fat fryer OR enough to fill a heavy fry pan to 1/2-inch depth
Honey-Soy-Sherry Dunk Ingredients
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup light Tamari soy sauce
- 1/2 cup medium-dry sherry
- 1 garlic cloves, chopped
- Combine flour with garlic salt and pepper in an oversized plastic bag. Pat dry chicken, cutting off any extra fat. Place chicken in the bag with the flour and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Prepare the roasting pan: Cover a large baking sheet with foil; spray foil with vegetable spray. Set aside.
- Whisk four eggs well in a large shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Place panko OR crushed saltines in a second large plastic bag.
- One by one, assembly-line-fashion, shake off the excess flour from a chicken pinwheel, dunk and coat it in egg. Place it in the panko crumb bag and coat well with crumbs. Place each crumb coated pinwheel on a large platter and repeat until all are coated.
- Preheat oil in deep fat fryer or in fry pan to 360 degrees.
- While oil is heating, combine honey, soy, sugar and garlic in a medium-sized pot, (wide enough to allow you to place a whole pinwheel in the bottom lying flat.) Over medium heat, stir the dunk ingredients until the sugar is melted and all are incorporated.
- One by one, fry each coated pinwheel of chicken for 3 minutes. Shake off excess grease. Using tongs, immediately dunk into the honey/soy/sherry mixture, turning to coat completely. Place the honey dipped chicken on the prepared foil-covered baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken is on the baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for one hour, turning once halfway through cooking time.