Chislic is a meat appetizer popular in bars throughout South Dakota and in parts of North Dakota. Get too far away from the Dakotas, and folks have never heard of it. Depending which bartender you ask, the origin of Chislic has either Russian or German roots. One interesting story I heard was that chislic started being served to folks who did not care to partake in two other regional bar snacks.... Rocky Mountain oysters and lamb fries.
The name chislic loosely means "meat on a stick", and it is served on skewers or with toothpicks. Generally speaking it is deep fried cubes of meat which is served with garlic salt, crackers (and sometimes hot sauce) on the side. You season the meat to your liking with a few pinches of garlic salt & a shake or two of hot sauce. It goes really good with cold beer.
Lamb or mutton is the most traditional meat, venison is very popular when it's in season, as is beef. Variations include marinating the meat before frying, dipping in batter before frying, and hot grilling the meat when it's cooked for large gatherings. Regardless of the cooking method, the meat is best when it's medium rare.
50% Italian Dressing & 50% French Dressing - this is okay if you like a little sweet on top of zesty & salty. This combination helps tone down the lamb flavor. This marinade is hard on the oil and more challenging to grill because of the sugars in the French dressing.
Italian Dressing - this universal marinade has everything going for it... nice seasonings and some oil help enhance the flavors of lamb and venison. It also acts as a tenderizer. It's my personal favorite if I elect to marinate chislic.
Buttermilk - this is popular when using venison and you want to kill some of the gamy flavor, and to tenderize the meat. I like the flavors of lamb and venison, so I really don't use this marinade.
Table Seasoning - Plain 'ol garlic salt from the store works fine as your seasoning, but I have my own recipe I like better. If you don't care for garlic you can use plain seasoned salt.
thirdeye style Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Lawry's garlic salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt (I use Penzey's seasoned salt)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (again, Penzey's is my favorite)
Blend everything in a spice grinder until it's very fine. The fresh grinding really wakes up the flavors, and the fine grind makes the seasoning stick to the meat cubes better.
Here is a tray of freshly cooked lamb chislic. The meat in the foreground was marinated in Italian dressing, and the other pile is plain. Both were deep fried in peanut oil. It's better to cook the unseasoned meat first so the flavors from the marinade don't transfer to the cooking oil. Again, the trick is to not overcook the meat.