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Buffalo Chicken Strips with Blue Cheese Salad

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2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 to 2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 large eggs
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 16 equal-size strips
4 cups vegetable oil
3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons each water and fresh lemon juice
3 dashes hot sauce
course salt
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
1 head romaine lettuce cored and chopped
4 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium celery stalks, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Buffalo Chicken Strips

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in ketchup and hot sauce. Remove from heat; cover and reserve sauce.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle ½ cup flour mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 teaspoons water.

In small batches, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture to coat, shaking off excess. Dredge chicken in flour again. Place on floured sheet.

In a large (5-quart) saucepan, heat oil to 350° on a deep-fry thermometer (a pinch of flour should si le when dropped in the oil).

Add half the chicken; cook until golden brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Return oil to 350°. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Toss chicken strips with reserved sauce (reheated if necessary) to coat. Serve with Blue Cheese Salad.

Note: A deep-fry thermometer is the best way to monitor the temperature of the oil. Adjust burner heat during cooking to maintain a steady temperature.

Blue Cheese Salad

In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, water, lemon juice, hot sauce, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Fold in blue cheese.

Add romaine lettuce, carrots, and celery; toss to combine. Serve immediately.

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