Since I have been pregnant, my only cravings have been for sweets and pastries…. bready pastries. Pancakes, doughnuts, danishes…that sorta stuff. There was a window for jelly beans, specifically Jelly Belly’s pear, buttered popcorn and coffee flavor combinations and there was plenty of time for cold cereal in the middle of the night. The only savory I really craved, other than hot or melted cheese…which is not really a pregnancy craving since I want that all the time, was fried chicken. Fried, crispy, buttery chicken. I do not eat fried chicken often, and it is even less rare that I crave it. But recently, I have been unable to dismiss the idea of those delicate, crispy and salty bites falling away from the bone and into my mouth. At one point, I tried to satisfy this craving with a bit of fried chicken from the Whole Foods hot bar (which I dutifully mixed with tons and tons of veggies), but alas…I needed something more intimate for my fried chicken…something homemade. Sans deep fryer, I knew my trusty dutch oven would do the trick. And this ladies and gentleman is how I came up with a fried chicken tender recipe that was so unbelievably insane, I had to share it with my readers. Perfectly crispy, ridiculously juicy, mouthwatering goodness, this recipe is for two-three servings.
What you need:
½ cup all purpose flour (I used bread flour because I was out of apf and it worked beautifully).
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Heaping teaspoon of spicy smoked Spanish paprika, hot
Heaping teaspoon of Himalayan salt
Freshly ground green peppercorns, to your liking
1 egg, splash of water
8-10 chicken tenders
2 cups of frying oil ( I used veg…you could use peanut, too)
Measure flour out in a shallow bowl and set aside. In another shallow bowl, mix breadcrumbs, paprika, peppercorn and salt. In the last bowl, beat egg with splash of water and set aside.
One at a time, dredge chicken through flour, then egg, and lastly coat in breadcrumb and seasoning mix.
Heat oil in dutch oven to 375 degrees. Don’t have a high thermometer? Wait 5 or so minutes and sprinkle flour in dutch oven. If it sizzles, you should be good to go!
Depending on the size of your fryer or dutch oven, you may need to fry in batches. I have a 4 qt. dutch oven and fried up in two batches. Make sure to set a plate with paper towels to place the first batch of fried chicken tenders aside before you fry the second time.