Pulled Chicken Loaded Tots – As Seen on Restaurant: Impossible

In Appetizers, As Seen on Restaurant: Impossible, In The Kitchen, Magazine, Poultry, Recipes by RI Magazine

From the episode, “Back in Business: Back Nine”

Serves 8

YOU’LL NEED

FOR THE CHICKEN
3 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
16 oz lemon-lime soda (Sprite or other)
1 cup chicken stock

FOR THE PIMENTO CHEESE SAUCE
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
4 oz pimento, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream

FOR THE TOTS
32 oz tater tots
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

MAKE IT

CHICKEN
1) Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
2) In a medium sauce pot over high heat, add grapeseed oil. Sear chicken on both sides.
3) Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add whole, uncut jalapeno pepper and onions. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes, making sure not to get any color on the onions.
4) Add garlic and allow to cook for about 1 minute. The garlic should be lightly toasted. Add soda and chicken stock.
5) Cover pot with foil and place in a 325° oven. Allow to cook for 2.5 hours.
6) Remove chicken from oven. Strain braising liquid and set aside.
7) Shred chicken and place back into braising liquid.

PIMENTO CHEESE SAUCE
1) In a bowl place cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, cayenne pepper, pimentos, salt, and pepper.
2) Using a hand blender, slowly incorporate heavy cream. The sauce should be thinner in consistency and able to be poured.

TOTS & PLATING
1) Place tater tots in a 350° fryer for about 7 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Alternatively, you may also cook them in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes or until they are golden brown in color.
2) Place tots on a baking sheet and liberally cover with cheddar cheese and place in a 350° oven. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
3) Place tots on a plate. Cover with pimento cheese, and shredded braised chicken. Finish with cilantro.