Dot’s Pretzel Breaded Chicken Thighs
R. Scott Pearson, CEONovember 26 2021
Dot’s pretzels may be the greatest snack food success story ever to come out of North Dakota. Only a few years ago, they were a little known brand of pretzels only sold in a few stores. This week’s news is that they were sold to Hershey Corporation for over a billion dollars. Today Dot’s has a whole line of pretzel products and the world’s best pork rinds.
One product from Dot’s, the Pretzel Crumble is a sometimes misunderstood item. Formerly called Pretzel Rub, it is more suitable as a breading ingredient than as a spice rub. In my opinion, Crumble is a better and more descriptive name than the original. The products are exactly the same, just the name and packaging are new.
At Home of Economy, we use Dot’s Pretzel Crumble as the basis for our breading on the deep fried alligator nuggets that we serve at our Gator Parties. One other great way to use Dot’s Pretzel Crumble is as breading on oven baked chicken thighs.
In traditional French cooking, mustard is used to adhere bread crumbs, caraway seeds, or other heavy bulky ingredients, to meat. In North Dakota, it is also a great way to coat chicken thighs with Dot’s Pretzel Crumble. In France, you might be arrested and thrown in a dungeon for using Bright Yellow American mustard, but in North Dakota you can get away with it. You could also use fancy French mustard if you don’t have any of the good American stuff.
Preparation could hardly be simpler. We placed chicken thighs in a big mixing bowl and then coated them liberally with with mustard, then Dot’s Pretzel Crumble. We placed the thighs in the Traeger Wood Fired Grill, skin side down and set the temperature to 375ºF. After 30 minutes, we turned them over and left them for another 15 minutes until the Internal Temperature (IT) was 185ºF. Poultry needs to be cooked to 165ºF for food safety, but dark meat is better at 180ºF. If you try this with breast meat, you will want to remove them at 165ºF, and not even one degree hotter. Some people even remove white meat at 155º or 160º, trusting time and carryover cooking to make them safe.
Heat in the Traeger removes much of the mustard flavor, leaving just a bit of vinegar and spice, which combines deliciously with smoke and the spices in Dot’s. The breading is light and crispy. Even served cold the next day, I predict you and your family will love it.