Love Me Tender

P1050964

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.

P1050991

Himalayan salt, also known as pink salt, is an unrefined salt said to contain up to 84 trace minerals making it one of the purest salts known to mankind. It truly brings out the fullest composition of whatever you are cooking, making it a staple for curing meats. It certainly helped define the breading on these chicken tenders.

Smoked Spanish hot paprika, also known as Pimenton de la Vera picante, is used widely in Spanish cuisine and generally in Mediterranean cooking. Peppers are dried slowly for several weeks over an oak burning fire. Although labeled spicy, this paprika from The Spice House is more smoky. It maintained a rich flavor without overpowering the dish.

Green peppercorns are unripened berries off of the vine.  They retain their color through the process of freeze-drying, brining or pickling.  They have a milder and some say fresher taste than traditional black peppercorns.  They have also been said to aid in digestion!  I enjoy them because they add a dimension to most dishes that help round out and balance other flavors.

Green peppercorns are unripened berries off of the vine. They retain their color through the process of freeze-drying, brining or pickling. They have a milder and some say fresher taste than traditional black peppercorns. They have also been said to aid in digestion! I enjoy them because they add a dimension to most dishes that help round out and balance other flavors.

2 thoughts on “Love Me Tender

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s