Fat Tuesday, Fish Wednesday

buffalo chicken

pes•ca•tar•i•an (pe-skə-ˈter-ē-ən) n.: a vegetarian whose diet includes fish

That’s me.  At least, for the forty days of Lent it is.  My yearly ritual is to give up meat, but not fish.  There is a label for this diet.  Merriam-Webster officially added the word pescatarian last year. It joins the ranks of other not-quite vegetarian labels, including flexitarian ( noun 1. a vegetarian who occasionally eats meat 2. an omnivore).

Even though I’m not what you would consider a raging carnivore, my sacrifice gets harder every year. So Fat Tuesday is when I really go all out on meat eating. My choice of food is usually buffalo chicken, simply because it’s the one thing I need a really good reason to eat. After all, this is an equal-parts butter and Tabasco sauce we’re talking about.  And it’s incredibly difficult to eat buffalo sauce with any dignity. In fact, my hot wing eating demeanor is best described as furtive—trying impossibly to hide that fact that I am gnawing on a deep-fried bone slathered in sauce.

But on Fat Tuesday, who cares? I made my own buffalo chicken this year. To give the sauce an extra kick, I added horseradish and Worcestershire sauce, kind of like a Bloody Mary.  I also used panko breadcrumbs on the chicken so it would absorb the sauce more, making the chicken less messy.  And as for the eternal bleu cheese or ranch question? You decide.

– Catherine M.

Bloody Mary Buffalo Chicken Strips


-4 chicken breasts
-1 cup flour
-2 eggs, beaten
-3 cups panko breadcrumbs
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 stick butter
-1/2 cup hot sauce
-1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– ½ tbsp horseradish
-1 clove minced garlic
-Aalt and pepper

Preheat the oven for 400 degrees. Cut the chicken breasts into 1- to 1 ½ – inch strips. Season them with salt and pepper. Place the flour and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Coat the chicken strips with flour and then dip in beaten eggs. Shake off excess egg before dredging the strips in the panko breadcrumbs. Drizzle the olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet and place the breaded chicken strips on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the stick of butter with the hot sauce, Worcestershire, horseradish, and garlic. Pour the sauce over the chicken, using tongs to coat each piece evenly. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.