Friday, September 30, 2016

Biff's Chicken Dunk

Mr.Biff was an extraordinary man....extraordinary because he was real....imperfect.....fallible....Gentle with the aspects of his generation's intense, dogmatic ethos, which contributed to his identity.  I admired him for his ability to share the ethos of his generation without cynicism, and with a directness that was so rare in the 70s when so many were completely self-absorbed, and spent a great amount of time communicating about who they were through their opinions.  Mr. Biff had the fine art of relating with people by sharing who he was just by chatting with people and listening to who they were with his fine tuned instinct.
I met Mr. Biff when I chose my electives my sophomore year, and as it turns out, one of my electives would be his class.  Mr. Biff taught Aviation.  He was sitting at the sign-up table with a small line in front of him.  The small line consisted of all guys.  Hmmm-mm, I wondered what he was teaching?  I was curious because the line was short.  The guys in line were the same guys from freshman year; thick lensed, black framed glasses, short, thin, 18" waists, button-up shirts, with pocket protectors loaded with pencils and pens, no visible muscles, and yet carrying their high IQs well.  I knew this was a class to check out.  Knowing by those already checking it out and signing up, that it would be interesting, would be intellectually stimulating, and definitely edifying.
Mr. Biff was a former Turret Gunner on the B-17 during WWII in the Army Air Corp.  He was well prepared to teach Aviation.  A rare elective for High School.  As a former military brat I know of no other school that offered this elective.
My first semester I received a B+ and Mr. Biff conferenced with me saying because I was a girl I should not expect an A.  Clearly one of the ethos from his generation; women will score lower in certain academics..  The next three semesters I received A+s.  My final grade was A+.  My extra credit project I built an instrument panel for a cockpit, which sort of nullified my B+.
One of our field trips I escorted Mr. Biff and my aviation class to the Navy Base to observe my father pull 10gs in the centrifuge.
Mr. Biff was a much beloved teacher.  He communicated splendidly with young people.  I also served on his environmental restoration and preservation committee by invitation. A tremendous mentor for all us that took his Aviation class.
Dip Sandwiches were all the rage in Pennsylvania.  Mr. Biff was passionate about Dip sandwiches as well.  The Chicken Dip was his favorite.  He loved having special days at school where class teaching was suspended for a day of project sharing activities and he would include food enjoyment as part of the day.  He would make Chicken Dip sandwiches for all of us.  It was an amazing feast, and the sandwiches were so delicious.  I loved his enthusiasm for preparing and sharing and enjoying them.
I have renamed the sandwich in his honor; Biff's Chicken Dunk, and I have thrown in a few extra ingredients.  I did leave the chicken breast thicker as Mr. Biff would, and yet I do cut the breasts thinner when I make them otherwise.

Chicken Breasts, skinless & boneless
Flour Dredge for Chicken Dunk:
flour [amount depends on how many breasts you are preparing/ eyeball it!]
cayenne pepper
black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
dribbling of milk [to make clumps in flour for extra crunch]
Soak your chicken breast in milk or buttermilk 30 minutes to an hour before dredging in flour.  Use a small amount of milk or buttermilk to dribble in flour dredge to create clumps for extra crispy crunch.  Heat canola oil or vegetable oil to 325 degrees.  Depth of oil should cover your chicken breasts.  Cook until golden and internal temperature is 165-170 degrees.  Drain on paper towels.  Toast your bread on griddle just on one side.  Use butter on your hot griddle. Toast until bread is golden.

Dunk Recipe:

Pour oil off leaving crunchy bits and 2 Tbsp. of oil in pan
1 Tbsp. of flour
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 splashes of white wine

Whisk flour into bits and oil and cook for two minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar, and stir.  Add salt & pepper.  As your dunk starts to thicken add splashes of wine to establish the thick or thinness of your Dunk.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper accordingly.  Place chicken breast on toast, cut diagonal, and pour Dunk sauce in a dipping cup.  Serve and enjoy!
One of Rooney's favorite sides with two scoops of dry dog food is a scoop of plain jasmine rice.  No salt, and no butter, just rice.  Unassuming and unpretentious!  Once in a while something uncomplicated with no extras is what we crave; humans and canines.  Mr. Biff's Chicken Dunk is just such a meal.  The natural flavor is so good.  You will continue to make it many times over.

Enjoy Mr. Biff's Chicken Dunk this week!

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