Thursday, July 23, 2009

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

Working for food manufacturing companies pays handsomely in food swag – i.e. free samples of our own products and those of current or would-be suppliers. Free snacks and treats has been a normal part of my job, but last week food swag became part of my blogging. I was contacted by someone from Country Bob’s, asking if I’d be willing to review their "All Purpose Sauce" in exchange for a bottle or two. I agreed. Consider that disclosure.

The house is trying to lose weight, so I took a vacation from the diet and invited a friend over to share a few sliders. Judging by the ingredient list, Country Bob’s sauce had a lot in common with Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce, though Country Bob’s had tomato concentrate but did not have anchovies. We put the two head to head. We found Country Bob’s sweeter, almost ketchupy, though when we used seasoning salt, the tomato flavor wasn’t so obvious. Since the sauce is an all purpose sauce we had to cook more than little burgers.

I’m told Nashville not only breaks your heart, it leaves you with a nasty hot chicken addiction. If you’re not familiar with hot chicken, the myriad recipes boil down to a garlic and cayenne pepper paste applied to chicken breasts (better if just on tenders), then breaded and deep fried. I’ve tried a few of these at home, but I fear a fact-finding trip to Nashville will be required to master the technique. Country Bob’s brochure offered a recipe for wings that tipped its hat to the garlic + cayenne + chicken addiction.

We breaded and deep fried the wings per Bob’s instructions, and applied “the desired amount.” This is where the sauce stood out. Unlike the burgers, where I have to concede my lasting preference for Worcestershire, the all purpose sauce became a different sauce entirely. With the wings, the sauce was a barbeque sauce. I’m not normally a fan of barbeque, and Country Bob’s isn’t the best I’ve ever had, but it is not as sweet as many, not smoky, but spicier and more acidic than most. The Mini Chef lapped up the molasses-laden sauce. At this point we finally figured out that there was no fiction in labeling, this was an all purpose sauce, like ketchup, like Worcestershire, like barbeque.

At the time of writing, there was a free sample of the AP sauce offered online.


5 pounds chicken wings

4 cups of flour

¼ cup granulated garlic

4 tsp. Country Bob’s Season Salt

¼ red peppers

Oil for deep frying

½ cup Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce

  1. Cut off and discard the wing tips and separate each wing into 2 pieces at the joint if desired.
  2. Rinse the chicken wings; drain and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, granulated garlic, Country Bob’s Season Salt and red pepper in a double thickness paper bag and shake until well mixed.
  4. Add the wings, several at a time, and shake until coated.
  5. Heat the oil to 350º in a deep fryer. Add the wings, several at a time, to the hot oil and fry for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Add the desired amount of Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce and toss lightly until coated. Serve with additional sauce.

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