The 4th of July is one of my favorite days of the year. I love the patriotic feel of the whole day with all of the red, white, and blue decorations. I love the feeling of celebrating our freedom with my loved ones, the sound of some good ole' country music, and the excitement of watching fireworks light up the sky. Sigh. It all makes me feel like a little kid again. I can never get enough of that feeling and I enjoy passing down my love for the holiday to my kids. With any luck they will continue to celebrate with as much patriotic enthusiasm as their Mom!
This year we are throwing a cookout for family, friends, and extended family followed up by a firework show over the bayou put on by my husband, Jon. I'm chomping at the bit to pull out my big box of Americana décor, dress the kids in their color coordinating finest, and stick the beer on ice. To help pass the time I have been coming up with new recipes that go with the July 4th theme. Everyone knows the massive amounts of food is the best part of a cookout!
I got ridiculously lucky with this recipe for Honey Chipotle Firecracker Chicken. I was after a good marinade recipe, something that would flavor the chicken before getting a good grilling. I kept adding ingredients and tasting the marinade, adding and tasting. Litehouse's Freeze Dried Herbs, like the Freeze Dried Garlic used in this recipe, make this easy to do because I can skip the mincing and chopping and get right to creating the perfect marinade. In the end I realized this was a terrible marinade, there was no way I could soak my chicken in it. I needed to COVER my chicken with it! It was thick and sweet and spicy. Just the perfect chicken glaze, I quickly changed my game plan.
I knew that in order to get as much of the glaze to stick to the chicken as possible I needed to give it something to cling to. A quick coating in a light and crispy herbed panko mixture created just the right glue for my new favorite sauce. Because I cut the chicken into thin strips it cooked up very quickly giving me an entire sheet full of crispy chicken strips in 16 minutes! This sure does seem like it's going to be the perfect party recipe eh?
After baking I dipped each chicken strip into the honey chipotle mixture, my mouth watering as each piece became perfectly coated with the thick and sticky sauce. It was the perfect recipe. Quick, easy, enough to feed a crowd, and the best chicken I've ever tasted in my life!
Don't stress over cooking for your July 4th BBQ, all you need is this Honey Chipotle Firecracker Chicken and a bit of patriotism. Now go fly your flags and let's get on to celebrating our freedom!