Game Day Grub: chicken strips with maple mustard dipping sauce


We’re into the final countdown. In just over 48 hours, Seattle and Denver will take to the field to hustle for the NFL’s top prize. Here is one more idea for your football feast. Like wings, chicken strips (a.k.a. tenders, fingers, fillets) are a classic game day snack. They’re quick to make, tasty, and a crowd pleaser.

What really makes chicken strips a hit is the dipping sauce. There’s the ever-popular ketchup, the basic BBQ, or maybe you prefer mayonnaise. In honour of Jon Ryan, the lone Canadian player in Sunday’s game, Rebecca, our YVF Kitchen Super Sauce expert, shares the recipe for her Canadian maple-inspired dipping sauce.

Oven-baked chicken strips
500g Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken scallopini or chicken tenders
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 – 2 cups spelt bread crumbs (we like the ones from ShaSha Co…you can also use panko Japanese-style crumbs)

Makes 20 chicken strips. 

Preheat oven to 425F/220C.

If using scallopini, cut into even-sized strips. Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder and sugar in a bag. Toss with chicken strips to coat. Prepare breading station in three bowls: set up flour in bowl one, lightly beaten eggs in bowl two, and spelt crumbs in bowl three. Dip chicken strips one at a time into flour, shaking off any excess, then into egg, then into the bread crumbs to coat.

Bake on parchment paper–lined baking sheet for 15-18 minutes until coating is lightly golden and chicken is fully cooked (internal temperature should reach 165F/74C). Serve alongside your favourite selection of sauces.

Maple mustard dipping sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil

Pour all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined. Serve alongside warm chicken strips.

Game Day Grub: MVP spice rub


Offense? Defense? What we love is a utility player. A versatile player. A jack of all trades. One who can seemingly do it all on the football field. That’s how we feel about this spice rub in the YVF Kitchen. It works on so many cuts of chicken, adding a little spice, a little sweet, and a lot of flavour. Try it with skin-on drums or thighs. Give it a go on a whole oven-roasted chicken. And, of course, it’s a great choice for wings as well. Here we present the YVF Kitchen MVP of spice rubs.

Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne (increase to 1/2 tsp if you want more heat)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and stir well until blended, breaking up any lumps of sugar.  

Game Day Grub: chicken Parmesan meatballs


Eric Borgia, Executive Chef at MetLife Stadium, will feed over 80,000 fans this Sunday. Nonna Fusco’s Meatballs, based on a recipe from Borgia’s grandmother, are expected to be one of the most popular items on the menu. Borgia and a team of 200 cooks will man 30 kitchens to serve up more than 20,000 meatballs and 500 gallons of marinara sauce.

This is how we like to make up a batch of Chicken Parmesan Meatballs here in the YVF Kitchen. Both the meatballs and the sauce are quick to make, and easy to scale up if you are cooking for a large crowd.

Chicken Parmesan meatballs
Makes 18 meatballs.

500g Yorkshire Valley Farms organic ground chicken
1 egg
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
5-6 tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs

2 cups quick tomato sauce (recipe below)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded 

Preheat oven to 400F/205C.

Combine ground chicken, egg, spices, and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl. Add 5 tbsp of the breadcrumbs. Gently stir until well blended. Don’t over mix or the mixture will start to get quite tacky and the meatballs will be tough. If the meatball mixture seems too wet (not wanting to bind together), add remaining 1 tbsp breadcrumbs. Form into ping-pong ball sized meatballs and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You may find it easier to roll the meatballs if you wet your hands first.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon warm tomato sauce over top of each meatball. Sprinkle with a mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Return to oven to bake for another 5 minutes. The meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Turn the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes to fully melt the cheese.

Serve alongside extra tomato sauce for dipping.

Quick tomato sauce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups tomato purée (passata)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the red pepper flakes, salt and garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute, watching the garlic to ensure it does not brown. Stir in the tomatoes, lemon zest and cracked black pepper and heat to a gentle simmer. Allow to bubble away for a few minutes. Reduce heat and keep sauce warm until ready to serve.

Game Day Grub: blue cheese vs ranch dipping sauce


The Super Bowl is all about the epic battle between two opposing teams, running it out for football’s top honour.  It’s no surprise that this battle extends into the kitchen, where Blue Cheese and Ranch duke it out, year after year, for the top spot in our hearts (and bellies) as the dipping sauce of choice. Here in the YVF Kitchen, we think both are pretty tasty, so we offer you recipes for our favourite version of each dip…we’ll let you pick the winner!

Blue cheese dip
This is the way Krysten, our Director of Marketing, likes to make her blue cheese dip. Her version is sort of a love-child between Tzatziki and traditional blue cheese. With only a few ingredients, it’s quick to pull together. 

1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of blue cheese, finely chopped or crumbled
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1 tbsp of chopped parsley (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl. Stir until well blended. Serve with a sprinkle of blue cheese overtop. This dip can be made a couple of days ahead.

Rebecca’s ranch dip
Rebecca, our Marketing and Customer Service Manager, is the resident football fan in the YVF office, so she is full of saucy suggestions when it comes to winging it. This is the ranch dressing she likes to make.

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp chives , finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. For a lighter option, you can opt for light sour cream or mayonnaise.

Game Day Grub: oven-baked wings with Buffalo-style sauce


Game Day is almost here.

According to the U.S. National Chicken Council’s 2014 Wing Report, 1.25 billion wings will be devoured during Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday February 2, besting last year’s total by 20 million. That’s enough to put 572 wings on every seat in all 32 NFL stadiums!

To help you prepare for your football festivities, all this week we’ll be sharing the best Game Day Grub ideas from the YVF Kitchen, as inspired by the YVF Home Office Team.

We’re kicking things off with, well, what else…wings!

Apparently 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first “Buffalo Wing” being sauced and tossed at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. In honour of this milestone birthday, and because Buffalo-style wings are a game day classic, the YVF Kitchen offers you this DIY recipe for oven-baked crispy wings with spicy Buffalo-style sauce.


Basic oven-baked crispy wings
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
24 Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken wings, tips removed, and/or drummettes

Preheat oven to 425F/220C.

Combine dry ingredients in a plastic bag or medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss wings until coated. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle wings with melted butter. Using tongs, turn wings to coat with melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip wings over and bake for another 15 minutes. The wings should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

To make Spicy Buffalo-style Wings, coat with the sauce (recipe below) while warm and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.

Spicy Buffalo-style sauce
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Cholula Original Hot Sauce 

Melt butter. Add cayenne, garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and add in the Cholula Original Hot Sauce. Stir until well blended. This sauce can be refrigerated for two days. Ensure the sauce is fully cooled before transferring for cold storage.

At the YVF office, Alex, our Director of National Accounts, is often looking for gluten-free options, so in the YVF Kitchen we make up a batch of these wings using organic quinoa flour instead of all-purpose wheat flour. They are just as crispy. You can also substitute sunflower oil for the melted butter if you prefer.