Fried Lollipop Drummettes with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Few drops hot sauce, or to taste
- 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
FOR FRYING THE CHICKEN:
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- Oil, for frying
EMERIL'S ESSENCE CREOLE SEASONING (ALSO REFERRED TO AS BAYOU BLAST):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Holding the small end of the drummette, cut, scrape and push meat down along the bone towards the thick end. Pull skin and meat over the end of the bone to resemble baby drumsticks. Repeat with remaining drummettes so that they all resemble "lollipops." Place prepared "lollipops" in a medium non-reactive mixing bowl and add the buttermilk, cayenne, hot sauce, salt, sugar, and garlic cloves and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
While the chicken is marinating, make the sauce. Combine all ingredients except the blue cheese in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the blue cheese and pulse to combine -- sauce may be served either slightly chunky or smooth, as you prefer. Transfer to a small non-reactive bowl and adjust seasoning, to taste, if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fry the chicken.
Combine the cornstarch, flour, 2 tablespoons of Essence, and the cayenne in a large plastic resealable food storage bag and shake to blend. Drop the chicken "lollipops" a few at a time into the bag and shake to coat. Remove the chicken and shake off any excess cornstarch. Repeat the coating process until all of the "lollipops" are coated.
Heat 4 inches of oil to 300 degrees F over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot. Fry the chicken in batches until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. Allow the chicken to rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the blue cheese dipping sauce.
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch,