Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sunday is usually recipe testing day. I rarely have plans in the evenings on Sunday's, so I have the time to do some food shopping and get the kitchen clean and organized enough to do some serious cooking. This Sunday I planned on remaking a previously tested recipe for a 15 minute chive cannelloni, but the supermarket thought otherwise, having absolutely no chive or anything resembling it. Fortunately, I'd put some very thinly sliced chicken breast in the fridge, so I decided to revamp an old standby--chicken fingers. I recently saw a photo of thinly sliced chili salt squid and hoped to try out the recipe, but have since had some issues locating squid on exactly the days I need it. So, I tried using the same general flavor combinations and changing up the protein to chicken.
Much to my surprise, it worked on the first try! The result was somewhere between chicken fingers and fries, and is probably very kid friendly. Come to think of it, I ate the whole batch myself, so I'm not quite sure what that says about me. I like to dip chicken fingers in ketchup or ranch dressing (evidently I started doing this at The Sizzler as a child--my mother still can't explain it) so that's exactly what I recommend serving them with. The ranch in particular brings a coolness to the party that stands up really well to the heat in the coating (It's not actually hot, just spicy. Definitely mild enough for someone that doesn't like spicy food.). Below is exactly what I came up with. Enjoy!
Chili Chicken Fries
2 thinly sliced chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (seasoned if you have them)
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups vegetable oil
1. Set up a standard breading station--three plates or shallow bowls, the first with the flour, the second with the beaten eggs, and the third with the breadcrumbs. Add chili pepper and cayenne to breadcrumbs and mix until combined. Set aside.
2. Slice the chicken into 1/2 inch strips and season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a deep pan, dutch oven, or wok (that's what I used) on medium high with the vegetable oil. While it heats up, begin dredging the chicken strips in batches, first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. When all of the pieces are breaded, add them carefully to the hot oil. All of the strips should be cooked in less than a minute.
Here's a better view of the finished product: