Making Mistakes

Today I had a cooking FAIL. I should have taken a picture of the horrendous mess I created, but in the heat (literally) of the moment I forgot.

Anyway, I had the vision today of making tacos. I didn’t want to make regular ground beef tacos with just a seasoning pack- I sort of wanted to make them special. My vision was barbecue chicken tacos with crispy onion straws. The chicken tacos, easy. All I did was shred up a little chicken, toss it in some yummy bbq sauce, and presto- done.

The onion straws however, proved to be a difficult task for me. I followed the Pioneer Woman’s recipe as much as possible. I only had 1/2 an onion and I didn’t have any cayenne pepper,so I used cajun seasoning…just as yummy I think.  Anyway, I started cooking these onions and they were delicious. In my excitement and impatience to have more of the crispy, salty, yummy goodness, I turned the heat up…literally. Here is my tip: never turn the heat up on oil. Once it gets to the right temperature it needs to stay the right temperature. Getting hotter does not make them cook faster…it just burns stuff.

So there I was standing in my kitchen, looking at a black layer of burnt grease, choking on the smoke drifting through my kitchen. What a bummer, my delicious crispy onion straws were ruined. Oh well! I said as I sent Nat outside with the pan of burnt grease to remove the smoke from the apartment.

And I have to tell you, trying again was definitely worth it. These tacos were DELICIOUS. The sweet barbeque sauce with the moist chicken topped with the crunchy, salty onion straw was a textural masterpiece. I thought Nat was going to choke he was eating


his tacos so fast. That is the ultimate seal of approval.

Chicken Tacos w/ Crispy Onion Straws


  • 3 chicken breasts cooked (as usual, when I am cooking chicken to shred, I just boil it. Really simple, but it does what it is supposed to.
  • Tortillas (Nat and I used 5 total)
  • Barbeque sauce of choice
  • Cheese
  • Any other toppings you want
  • Crispy Onion straws

For the tacos, I just cooked the chicken, tossed it in barbeque sauce, and spooned it into tortillas. I topped it with shredded cheddar jack cheese, a little extra bbq sauce, some cilantro, and the onions. You really can add whatever you want!


Crispy Onion Straws

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups flower
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • pepper to taste
  •  1 quart canola oil

Now the pioneer woman has a fancy shmancy oil thermometer. I do not (that is probably why I had the mistake mentioned above). Regardless, she says heat oil to 375. I, the second time, turned the burner up to 6 at the highest.

Cut the onion very, very thin. Mine ended up in chunks, but that just proves my knife skills stink.

Soak the onions in the buttermilk for an hour

Mix the dry ingredients together.

After an hour, scoop the onions out of the buttermilk in batches and coat in the flour mixture.

In small batches, after the oil has heated, drop the onions in the oil. Let them cook until brown. They only take a few minutes to cook so don’t walk away to long. I got a little impatient the first time when they didn’t cook as quickly as I wanted them to- don’t make my mistake!

Take the onions out of the oil and put them on a plate with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Try not to eat them all while waiting for the others to cook!


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