Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Open-faced BBQ Chicken Wonton

The first time I had this crispy-chewy, salty-sweet dish, I fell head-over-heels for it. I wish that I could take credit for creating it, but the but those rights belong to my inventive wife. I re-created it for my family last Saturday. Needless to say, we all stuffed ourselves until we couldn't move!

 - Wonton wraps
 - Chicken
 - Your favorite Barbecue sauce
 - Sharp cheddar cheese
 - Cream cheese

I started with a Costco whole roasted chicken (very tender and juicy!). I shredded it thin enough that it wouldn't pull off other chicken when bit into, but not so thin that it was mushy. Then I added enough barbecue sauce to cover every shred without over-doing it and losing the flavor of the chicken. 

Next I fried the wonton wraps in some vegetable oil. It is easy to over-cook them, so be careful! It only takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute with the oil on medium heat to brown them perfectly. When they were done, I set them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. This helped keep them from getting soggy. I also salted them lightly immediately after pulling them from the pan.

When the wontons and chicken were ready, I began building the dish. I started by spreading a generous layer of softened cream cheese over the wonton. Then I added a scoop of BBQ chicken, and finally I topped it with sharp cheddar cheese. Other garnishes can be used to add color and flavor. The key is to strike a balance between the amount of cream cheese, chicken, and cheddar. I found that equal amounts balanced very well. The sharp cheddar cheese was noticeable but not overpowering, and complemented the savory-sweet BBQ chicken. If you choose to use a milder cheese, consider using more so that the flavor is not overwhelmed by the barbecue sauce.

I paired the open-faced BBQ chicken wonton with a dark green salad covered in balsalmic dressing, and a baguette with some spinach dip. Even though the flavors were distinct, each part of the dish supplied a unique flavor combination that was complimentary to the others. If I could do it over again, I would have the chicken much warmer before plating it, enough to melt the cheese a little.

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