Sweet and Sassy Fry-free Crispy Chicken

In my hometown of Binghamton, NY, there is only one place to go in the area for delicious, heart-stopping soul food. Theo’s Southern Style Cuisine on Main Street is located just over the border in Johnson City and its menu has everything from fried chicken to macaroni and cheese to sweet potato pie. They also cater events and make large quantities of wings to order. Just about every graduation party I attended after high school featured a few dozen of their wings.

On early weekend or summer afternoons during high school or college vacations, my friends and I would meet for lunch around the vinyl red and white checkered tablecloths in Theo’s simple dining room. My meal of choice was always fried chicken fingers with fries and Theo’s signature Sweet and Sassy Sauce on the side. This sauce is easily my favorite sauce in the history of the culinary arts and lucky for me, it comes in a bottle. The bottle pictured above (placed prominently on my bookshelf) was brought to Brooklyn by my friend Vince a few weeks ago and was actually hidden under my pillow so it would be a surprise in a tooth fairy sort of way.

This sauce served as a call to action to find a way to make delicious, sauce-worthy chicken without having to fry it as I don’t have the tools and don’t trust myself with all of that scalding oil on the stove. After doing some searching on the web and a test this evening, I think I reached a happy medium. Continue Reading →