Recipe By: Julie Hubert
“A homemade fried blooming onion is loaded with Cheddar cheese, bacon, and chicken in this crowd-pleasing appetizer served with ranch dressing.”
- 1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia(R))
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix (such as Hidden Valley Ranch (R))
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 gallon peanut oil
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup cubed cooked chicken
- 4 slices cooked bacon, diced
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- 1 green onion, minced
- Cut 1/2 inch off the pointed part of the onion and peel. Place onion on a work surface, cut-side down. Make a downward cut into the onion, starting 1/2 inch from the root, all the way to the work surface. Repeat 3 more times, making a total of 4 evenly spaced cuts around the onion to create 4 sections
- Cut each of the 4 sections of the onion into 3 even slices to reach a total of 16 evenly spaced cuts. Turn the onion over and gently separate the outer pieces, using your fingers.
- Whisk milk, water, eggs, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a bowl.
- Whisk flour, ranch dressing mix, cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt together in a separate bowl.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
- Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer or deep, heavy pot to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Dip onion in the egg mixture using a slotted spoon or your hand. Remove and let excess egg drip back into the egg mixture. Place onion in a bowl, cut-side up. Pour all of the flour mixture on top. Shake the bowl and distribute the flour mixture evenly using a spoon or your fingers, making sure the flour mixture reaches inside the onion’s “petals”.
- Lift onion out of bowl by the core, turning over and patting to release excess flour. Fully submerge the onion in egg mixture again; remove and let excess egg mixture drip back into bowl. Place onion back in bowl with flour mixture and spoon to coat onion again with flour mixture.
- Turn the onion cut-side down and place in a wire skimmer. Shake gently over the flour bowl and pat to release any excess flour.
- Carefully lower onion in the hot oil, cut-side down. Adjust the heat so the oil temperature stays at 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Fry for 3 minutes; carefully turn onion over and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes more. Remove and drain on paper towels and season with salt.
- Place onion on a baking sheet and top with 1/2 of the Cheddar cheese, chicken, bacon, and remaining 1/2 of the Cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Drizzle ranch dressing over onion and sprinkle green onion, salt, and pepper over the top.