“Cheater” Copycat KFC Twisters

I try to cook just about everything from scratch, but sometimes, that just doesn’t happen. But, even then, I try to do something different. I could’ve just heated up some precooked frozen chicken strips, and had them with Ranch dressing. Or I could make these crazy good (no, really!) “cheater” copycat KFC Twisters. Heck, I’ve never had the real thing, but if they’re nearly as good as these homemade ones, I’d order some.

Cheater Copycat KFC TwistersI made two different versions: one with crispy chicken strips, and one with Buffalo chicken strips (my favorite). Nothing fancy here, but they were tasty (the Twister sauce is pretty darned good, and would make a great sauce for sandwiches or burgers) and mighty easy to make.

So why do I refer to these as ‘cheater’? Because i used precooked chicken. If I’d made the chicken from scratch, they’d be the real deal. Nothing wrong with the un-real deal, though, sometimes.

If you prefer to skip the wrap and just make the chicken strips, you’ll want to serve them up with my copycat Chick-fil-A dipping sauce.

Cheater Copycat KFC Twisters

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the KFC Twisters

For the Twister Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the KFC Twisters

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Place chicken on a baking sheet and cook 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, warm the tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Spread a 3" wide strip of sauce across the middle of each tortilla, starting 1" from the left edge and ending at the right edge.
  • Add the lettuce, tomato, and chicken over the center of the tortilla, over the sauce, still leaving the leftmost 1" edge empy.
  • Fold the left edge over and then roll up the tortilla. The right edge will remain open. Serve seam-side down so it doesn't unrolled.

For the Twister Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Cheater Pastrami

I love the week around St. Patrick’s Day. Not because I’m Irish or love the color green. No, it’s because corned beef briskets go on sale. And every year, I buy a big load of them and make cheater pastrami on my smoker. The end result is tender and very flavorful. Perfect for sandwiches. Almost beyond perfect.

Cheater Pastrami 3So why is this approach called ‘cheating’? Well, real pastrami takes a long time to make. You don’t start with a corned beef brisket out of the grocer’s fridge. I’ve had the most amazing pastrami in New York City. Here in Indianapolis, the closest I’ve found is at Shapiro’s Delicatessen (though I’ve heard that Fat Dan’s Deli is also great). This cheater version isn’t as good, of course, but it’s actually quite fantastic. All my neighbors will back me up on that.

I start out by rubbing corned beef in a mix of mustard, all spice, coriander and a lot of cracked pepper.

Cheater PastramiThe meat gets wrapped and goes into the fridge overnight to get ‘happy’.

Cheater PastramiThen onto the smoker at 225 F for about 8 hours or until the internal temperatures reach 195-205 F. Let them rest then slice then and enjoy!

Cheater PastramiThis recipe is a combination of a recipe I found on Patio Daddio and the technique on my favorite Weber Smoky-Mountain-related site, the Virtual Weber Bullet.

Cheater Pastrami

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 16 hours
Servings 1 pastrami
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 corned beef brisket try to get a flat, one that is consistent in thickness
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse-ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly coarse-ground pepper

Instructions

  • Note: I buy coriander seeds and whole peppercorns from the local GFS store and grind them using an old blade-style coffee grinder. Make sure you keep the grind a little coarse. You can also use a mortar and pestle.
  • Rinse and dry the corned beef.
  • Whisk together the mustard, brown sugar, coriander and allspice. Rub the mixture all over the brisket, then cover completely with the ground pepper. Place in a large resealable bag or wrap tightly in foil and keep in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, fire up your smoker for 225-250 F. Place a chunk or two of light fruit wood in the smoker (I used cherry). Cook the brisket for at least 8 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 195 - 205 F.
  • Remove, wrap in foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Thinly slice the brisket against the grain using a meat slicer or sharp knife. Serve.

Mini Chicken-and-Waffles

These mini chicken-and-waffles are the perfect sized appetizers for a crowd. Sure, you can make your own waffles. And you can fry your own chicken. But when you’re in a hurry, these will do just fine. For a little kick, dip the hot chicken nuggets into Frank’s Red Hot wing sauce before skewering them and placing them onto the waffles.

Mini Chicken-and-WafflesThese great game-time treats will disappear in minutes. But they’re easy to make, so you can crank out a big batch of mini chicken-and-waffles in no time. Now, if you’re looking for the full-sized version just grab a few pieces of already-fried chicken and some already-heated Eggo waffles and you’re good-to-go!

Also try my glazed Kielbasa bites.

Mini Chicken-and-Waffles

Course Appetizer
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Add chicken and cook until 10 minutes remain per the package instructions.
  • Add the mini waffles to the oven and warm 10 minutes.
  • Serve chicken skewered with waffles, drizzled with syrup.