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Failure Bowls

failurebowl.jpg

A simple recipe inspired by comedian Patton Oswalt and his ode to KFC's Famous Bowls:

YouTube: Patton Oswalt on KFC Famous Bowls

Now, I should mention that you could prepare this yourself without the pre-packaged ingredients, and it would probably be more nutritious and healthy that way. But that would negate the entire point of the KFC Famous Bowl: fast food thrown together in a single bowl for your convenience.

This recipe shows that the KFC bowl is really just a shepherd's pie made with chicken nuggets instead of ground beef. Simply prepare the mashed potatoes, open the package of chicken nuggets and the can of corn, and lay them out in a 12-to-15 inch cooking pan. Be sure to drain the sweet corn but not the creamed corn, so it won't be watery. Start with a layer of mashed potatoes, then a layer of corn, then a layer of chicken nuggets. In a separate bowl, mix the beef bouillon into the gravy. Pour the gravy over the nuggets, and top it off with another layer of potatoes. Spread the shredded cheese over the top layer of potatoes.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

The portions shown here will give you two or three heaping bowls of failure. Scoop it out, add salt and pepper and whatever seasonings you like, and serve.

(An addition suggestion from an anonymous contributor: "If you truly want an authentic KFC experience, I suggest adding a cup of ground pepper, and cook it for two hours to get that nice, crunchy, dried-out consistency.")

A Failure Bowl With Less Fail

Chicken Nuggets

Mashed Potatoes

Gravy

Bowl Topping

This recipe covers the important parts of making "imitation" KFC chicken and mashed potatoes. You really don't have to mix all of this together in a bowl. As Patton Oswalt said in his monologue, you could just serve them on a plate. Of course, doing something as sensible as that would make this recipe less "fail."

The chicken can be made in advance, a day or more. That way, you can keep the chicken nuggets in the fridge until it's time to prepare the other parts of this meal…assuming the chicken nuggets last that long before being pilfered by sticky fingers belonging to hungry kids.

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for the chicken.

Prepare two large plastic or Tupperware containers with lids, and a large bowl for dipping the chicken in the eggs. The separate plastic containers are to allow double-dipping of the chicken, before and after coating with eggs.

In a bowl, mix together all of the chicken seasoning spices. Add flour and mix it all together. Add half of the flour mixture to each plastic container. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk them together.

Cut the chicken breasts into smaller, nugget-sized or chicken-strip-sized pieces. Place them in the first plastic container, close and seal the lid, and shake it all to coat the chicken with seasoning. Take each piece of chicken, dip it in the bowl of egg, and place it into the second container. When all of the chicken pieces are coated with eggs and in the second container, seal the lid again and shake it all to coat the chicken a second time with seasoning.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet (I like using a large cast iron skillet). Bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, turn over with tongs, and bake for 15 minutes more. Move the chicken pieces to a rack and let them cool, while preparing the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Don't peel the potatoes – the skin adds taste and nutrition. Wash the potatoes, then slice them in half for faster cooking. Put them in a saucepan and add the corn. Fill the pan with water until the potatoes and corn are mostly covered, but not entirely covered. Add a tablespoon of salt. (This amount of salt is to make the water salty; most of the salt will remain in the water without being absorbed into the potatoes.) Cover the pot, bring to a boil and boil on high for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.

Place a large saucepan on the stovetop when you begin heating the pot of potatoes and corn. Heat the pan slowly, at only about low-to-medium heat. When there are about 20 to 25 minutes left for the potatoes to boil, prepare the gravy. Add butter to the pan, melt the butter, and add flour. Stir it all together into a roux. When the roux is blended and hot, add the additional ingredients for the gravy, including chicken broith, bouillon cube, and spices. Stir it all together, and keep stirring to reduce and thicken the gravy. It should be ready at the same time the potatoes are ready.

When the potatoes are ready, take the pot with the potatoes and corn, and drain the water. Add the additional ingredients for mashed potatoes: butter, cream, basil, parsley, pepper. Mash everything together into a creamy potato and corn mash.

Prepare the bowl. Start with a layer of mashed potatoes and corn, then a layer of chicken pieces. Pour the gravy over the chicken, and top it off with another layer of potatoes.

Add ground black pepper and salt (optional). Finally, cover the top of the bowl with grated cheese. Serve while still hot.