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CAPTAIN FALCON - Hot Chicken Sliders (and "Falcon Punch")

Updated: Jan 7, 2022


Complexity: ★★☆☆☆ (sliders), ★☆☆☆☆ (punch)


Yes! It's finally time for a recipe inspired by the legendary F-ZERO racer, Captain Falcon!


In the Super Smash Bros. series, the Captain's moveset is all about bravado: fast, flashy moves that ooze personality. I wanted to make something spicy to reflect his fiery attacks. And since he's named after a bird, I decided to go for a chicken dish. Put two and two together and you get Nashville Hot Chicken! A delicious, amazingly crispy fried chicken slathered with a spicy cayenne pepper sauce. Rather than serving it the traditional way - pieces of fried chicken stacked on top of a thick slab of white bread - I made hot chicken sliders!


But be warned: I'm not kidding when I say this dish is spicy. I'm talking the type of spicy that's a challenge to eat - but its so delicious that you'll definitely want to overcome said challenge! This is truly a meal for the toughest of bounty hunters.



 

INGREDIENTS

Hot Chicken:

  • 4 boneless & skinless chicken thighs, cut in half

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tbsp pickle brine

  • 1 tbsp hot sauce

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Spicy Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • ¼ cup lard or butter

Assembly:

  • 8 small sandwich rolls, halved and toasted

  • Mayonnaise, for topping

  • Iceberg lettuce, for topping

  • Sweet bread-and-butter pickles, for topping

PREPARATION

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce, brine, and eggs until thoroughly combined. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in refrigerator for a few hours before cooking (even better, leave to marinate overnight).

  2. In a large stock pot or deep fryer, heat a few inches of neutral vegetable oil to 325°.

  3. Remove chicken and batter from the fridge. Pour the batter into another bowl, leaving the marinaded chicken in the larger bowl. Mix flour, garlic powder, and salt in a separate small bowl.

  4. One by one, "double dip" each chicken thigh: dredge in the flour mixture, then back into the batter, and then into the dry mixture a second time. Using tongs, carefully submerge the battered chicken into the oil.

  5. Fry chicken in the hot oil in batches, flipping each thigh a few times each. Continually adjust temperature to ensure the oil stays at around 325°. The chicken is done when it is golden brown and crispy and has reached an internal temperature of 165°. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

  6. Meanwhile, make the sauce: mix cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and melted lard/butter in a small bowl. Thoroughly brush over the freshly fried chicken.

  7. Spread mayonnaise on the toasted slider buns, layer on some lettuce, add the fried and sauced chicken thighs, and top with sweet pickle chips.


 

Oh, you thought I wasn't going to take advantage of the most perfect pun possible? Think again! Today's recipe is a two-in-one, because I also made a drink to accompany the sandwiches: the oft-requested "Falcon Punch"! This has been the most frequently requested recipe for me to make by far, so I hope I did it justice!


Much like the sliders, this blood-red fruit punch reflects Falcon's bombastic personality: its infused with spices that quite literally pack a punch! But its a much warmer type of spice, which, rather than making steam come out of your ears, provides a nice soothing effect in between bites of scorching hot chicken. The punch can also be spiked with alcohol as a nod to the fact that, in certain F-ZERO games' lore, Captain Falcon makes a living as a bartender in the downtime between races! A fried chicken sandwich and an alcoholic drink is the perfect sports bar combo, the type of thing the denizens of Mute City might eat while watching the Grand Prix on TV! (But feel free to leave out the alcohol if you don't drink - its just as delicious without it!)


INGREDIENTS

Falcon Punch:

  • 24 oz apple juice

  • 24 oz cranberry juice

  • 12 oz orange juice

  • 12 oz pineapple juice

  • The juice of 1 lemon

  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2-4 star anise

  • 1 tsp allspice berries

  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorns

  • ¼ cup honey (or more, to taste)

  • 1 12 oz bottle ginger beer

  • 1 12 oz bottle dark rum (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. In a medium-large sauce pot, toast spices for a few minutes until fragrant. Add juices and bring to a simmer for about half an hour, until spices are infused.

  2. Strain out spices with a fine mesh sieve. Sweeten with honey.

  3. Pour punch into a large pitcher or punch bowl, filled with ice. Top with ginger beer, and rum, if desired.

 

Elements of this recipe were created with the help of my generous patrons! If you'd like to help me create future recipes, consider supporting me on Patreon!

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