That Fried Chicken Bologna Sandwich Post You’ve Been Asking For!
Previously on Ted:
At the end of the 99¢ Only Halloween Hullaboo thing back in October, I mentioned how I came across these delightful cans of chicken bologna. Sure, they had me at “chicken bologna,” but in a can…? I think we’re all astonished I purchased only one.
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Now, months later, I showed said can to a pal who was (inexplicably) disgusted, but did advise me that “You gotta fry that [expletive deleted] up, son! Frrrrrah it up!”
Looking online, I saw to no surprise whatsoever that there’s at least one chef who is trying to promote fried bologna as a trendy food, which would have immediately dissuaded me (and by extension, you) from having anything whatsoever to do with it, but by this point I was already 99¢-only deep into this fried bologna folly of mine (or frolognly, as I call it) and there was no turning back.
I wisely ignored his recipe, which involved artisanal this and local-sourced that, and God forbid, gluten-free something-or-other, probably!, and just winged it and created my own unique take on the classic fried bologna sandwich.
By the way, have you noticed lately that every single recipe you see online is “a [something] take on the classic [whatever]”…?
Well, now that I’ve mentioned it, you’ll be seeing it everywhere.
Anyway! Here’s how we made our version — that is, mine (and now yours):
First, I opened the can. I needed to insert the thin edge of a knife twixt can edge and lid to actually pry it off, which was accompanied by a subtle but delightful sucking noise, even after the can opener did its job.
I wasn’t sure what to expect , but, eh, this is what I found. I’ll let the photo above describe it; otherwise I’d inadvisably write something completely inaccurate involving the foreman at the chicken bologna cannery hocking up a little extra personal something into each can…that would cause my attorney to suffer a sudden apoplectic fit. Instead, imagine how the infinitely more talented James Lileks might describe such an image.
I’m usually something of a happy-go-lucky type, but I’ll admit this cylindrical wad of lunch meat — key to the success of our fried bologna sandwich — has me a bit worried, especially given that divot of congealed fat.
You, however — fretful, nervous type that you are, you’ve been concerned from the first time you read “chicken bologna in a can.” I can’t imagine why.
And this black spot I think has us all a little anxious. The can itself was free from visible dents, dings or punctures, and this — this looks like spoilage.
So then, throw the entire thing out? And piss away 99¢ only?! Naaah!
A simple bolognopsy takes care of things; we’ll send that sample off to the lab [read: “trash can”] and get on with our lives.
But not if Mr. Whiskers has anything to say about it, and brother, does he ever! “Mrow! Mrow! Hiss! Spit! Mew! Yowl!” etc., etc. Apparently once cracked open, the can filled the room with a scent not unlike one of the delicious varieties of Friskies Buffet, at least to the unsophisticated palate.
Sheddap, I tells him, and continue.
Here I’ve flipped the wad of bologna, or bolognawad over, and cut off about a 1/4″ slice. Next, we—
—”Mrow! Mew! Hiss! Spit! Hiss! Mrrow! Yoooooowl!” Okay, this evidently isn’t going to stop until I take bolognive action. At this point, though I was unable to get a shot of it, the little fella actually got up on his hind legs to beg, and he never does that!
Trust me, friends, it’s adorable, and thus must be rewarded — and maybe then he’ll shut the hell up!
So we dice up about a teaspoon of the stuff:
Put it into a bowl and present it to his majesty.
Mmm-mm, that’s good bologna! Good bologna!
And then two minutes later, he’s finally done, and what the hell – did he even eat any of it? That’s almost the same amount I gave him. Anyway, let’s get back on track here.
Next, we take this delicious telera, or Mexican food-bread roll, which I bought from Jons (a local supermercado), slice it open and…
…using rich, delicious Challenge Dairy Maid Spread (the challenge is finding the dairy in the list of ingredients), generously butter the inside of the roll. Oh, excuse me, generously butter the inside of the telera. Oh, oh, excuse me – generously 48% Vegetable Oil Spread the inside of the telera.
Also, here my attorney would like to note that it’s not that challenging find dairy in the list of ingredients (but they are at the end).
Next you pop them into your frying pan, butter side down, and kind of toast ’em up, reeeal nice-like.
Meanwhile, having already sliced up the bologna you’re going to use, you’ll want to bag up the rest and put it in the refrigerator – you know, so you can enjoy it later. Or at least so Forensics has a starting point after your corpse is discovered sometime next week.
Now don’t let your roll burn! No one wants a telera en fuego. Once properly toasted, you can return it to the cutting board where you sliced your bologna. Don’t worry about keeping a kosher kitchen — when cooking food like this, cross-contamination is the least of your worries.
With your frying pan good and hot, go ahead and put your one and two-thirds chicken bologna slices in there. (You would have had two whole slices, but you snipped off that gross black part, and then the cat was being a pain in the ass so you gave him some, remember?)
Now: Quick, cut yourself up a slice of onion to put on your fried bologna sandwich. Look, your chances of kissing anyone any time soon already went out the window when you decided to cook up a fried chicken-bologna-from-a-can sandwich, so might as well cut that onion good and thick.
Onto the most expensive part of the sandwich: The cheese. It’s the only thing that cost more than a buck. I chose Borden Natural Provolone (with added smoke flavor); for a more authentic Fried Bologna sandwich, simply use government cheese.
You’re going to want the bologna slices to get kind of slightly browned on both sides, so flip ’em over now and again. And then, when they’ve got a nice color to ’em, you go ahead and put your cheese slices on ’em.
Now, see what I did with the 2/3 bologna slice? I folded and scored its cheese slice so it’d fit. It’s this lightning-quick ability to immediately adapt to any cooking emergency thrown my way that would serve me well on “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Chopped,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” or any other of those awful cooking shows if I knew how to make anything aside from a fried bologna sandwich, and I’m learning as I go with this thing as it is!
Now let the cheese melt on your bologna slices a bit. When the smoke alarm in the hallway goes off, they’re about done.
Using a spatula, de-pan [cooking term] your bologna slices and slide same onto the bottom of your toasted telera roll, drop that fat slice of onion onto it, and give your sandwich a south-of-the-border flavorita by garnishing with some jalapeño slices, and you’re just about done.
All that’s left to do is drop the top half of the roll on, and then cut that sucker in half for no reason other than to display its delicious melted cheese.
Well, and to make it easier to share with the cat.
For a copy of the Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe, send $4.00 and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe, Box 658152, Dept. FBSR, Los Angeles 7, Calif., Attention: Fried Bologna Recipe Fulfillment Office. Please write “Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe” on the lower left corner of your envelope and include the words “Fried” “Bologna” “Sandwich” and “Recipe,” in that order, printed by hand on a 3×5 card. Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe offer good while Fried Bologna Sandwich Recipe supplies last.