Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Fried Chicken

Now anyone who knows me knows I love me some Fried Chicken. So much so that it was present at my wedding reception and the sweet sweet balm to the stress of student teaching while pregnant with Ellie (Thank you, Popeye's on University Ave.)

Chicken nuggets get a bad rap because, well, they're usually nasty. This is my version that tends to get half eaten by Noelle and D even before it makes it to the dinner table. When it comes to Fried Chicken, manners just don't have a place in our house.

Chicken Nuggets/Tenders

2 large chicken breasts (about 1 - 1.5 lbs of chicken)
3 tbls. sweet potato starch
1 egg
1.5 cups panko bread flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons (or more, if you like) toasted sesame seeds

Brine: 3 tbls. salt/2 cups water I find the best way to dissolve is to put in a tightly sealed container and shake

Prepare Brine and brine for at least half an hour, but not more than an hour.

Pat chicken breasts as dry as possible, then slice thinly into tenders or pound the chicken flat and cut into strips.

Place chicken in a bowl, crack the egg into the bowl, then spoon the starch in. Mix well with your hands until the chicken appears evenly coated with the mixture (gets pretty goopy, but it's worth it).

Heat canola oil in a large frying pan. When it's ready, coat the battered chicken with bread crumbs lightly (resist the urge to load up on breadcrumbs - it will not fry well) and pan-fry about 11/2 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the tenders.

Drain on a rack with paper towelling underneath to retain crispness.

Serve with a mixture of "special sauce" (equal parts ketchup and mustard - haha!).

This recipe is versatile - you can make it "Eye-tal-yun" by adding basil and Parmesan, French by adding herbes de Provence, you get the picture.


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