Time for July's Crazy Ingredient Challenge!
The theme for this month is cranberries and shallots. I was a little disappointed because cranberries are not in season right now and there is so many different types of wonderful summer produce. However, I enjoy the challenge of creating a new recipe and began to brainstorm different ideas involving canned or frozen cranberries. My first thought was a barbecue sauce, but I wanted to make something that would be an easy weeknight meal for my family. I like to use my crockpot in the summer because it allows for flexibility around dinner time.....i.e. more time to play outside!
I decided to create an sweet and tangy bbq sauce with canned cranberries, bbq sauce, mustard and hot sauce in my crockpot with chicken breasts. My next challenge was to use the shallots and I thought topping the chicken sandwiches with crispy shallots would give a perfect crunch. I sliced the shallots thin and lightly tossed them is a seasoned flour blend. I do not normally fry foods at home (I hate the mess), but these thin shallots were so easy and there was hardly any spatter mess to clean. A note of caution, the shallots will burn easily and it is important to babysit them while they fry because they can be over done very fast.
Ron and I loved these sandwiches! The cranberry gives a sweet little tang, but works well with them rest of the flavors. The sirircha adds a bit of heat, but it is very mellow when paired with the smokey bbq. The onions give a salty crunchy to the sandwich and are the perfect topper for this sandwich.
If you are interested in joining our challenge, stop over to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade to say hello and to get more information.
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cranberry sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1 tsp sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1/2 cup chicken stock
4-5 large shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 Canola Oil
6 sandwich buns, sliced in half
Whisk cranberry sauce, bbq, mustard, sriracha and chicken stock in a medium bowl. Place chicken into the crockpot and pour the sauce over the chicken. Toss to coat. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove chicken from the crockpot and shred (I like to use my KitchenAid mixer for this, but you can do it by hand). Place chicken back into the crockpot and stir to make sure it soaks in all the sauce. Set to warm while the onions are prepared.
Heat oil in a deep skillet till over medium high heat. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss sliced onions into flour and make sure they are evenly coated. Allow oil to almost come to a simmer, but is not smoking. Fry shallots in small batches to prevent sticking. Each batch will take about 2 minutes. Once golden brown, remove shallots and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired.
Place a portion of the chicken onto the bun, top with crispy shallots and enjoy!