Last night it just had to be fried chicken. Three problems with that craving. One – I’m very temped to buy somebody else’s fried chicken. Two – I hate deep frying anything. I loved fried food, don’t get me wrong, but I hate the mess. So I usually do the Oven Fried chicken. Which brings us to problem three last night – not enough time for oven fried chicken.
There was a lot going on and I didn’t have the time to bake chicken, especially since I hadn’t taken any chicken out to thaw, so I had to come up with something that would be quick and easy.
My solution was to take 4 small boneless chicken breasts, quick thaw them in cold water, pound them flat (I wrap them in plastic first). I dipped them in an egg wash (2 eggs with just a bit of water, salt and pepper) and then dipped them in my seasoned panko breading – I used basil, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic. Heavy on the pepper. But wait, it wasn’t real panko.
Lfern had mentioned she missed panko breading and I had a thought in my head that crushed rice chex would make a good substitute. I ran them through my mini-food processor until I had 2 cups of course ground chex. I thought the texture was very close to panko and took spicing well. It fried up with a satisfying crispness, very much like deep fried chicken.
Since the breasts were so thin, I only needed 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter (butter gives them a rich flavor, olive oil keeps butter from burning). I quickly browned the breasts in the hot oil, reduced the heat and let them cook for 15 minutes turning several times, so as not to burn. I made a real nice chicken gravy with the pan drippings – I have been thrilled with how nice gravy turns out in a cast-iron skillet. Served with mashed potatoes and garden salad that had just about a bit of everything it.
It all looked good and I was going to take pictures but haven’t recharged the batteries since I got home. Yes, yes, I am as disappointed as you are. Maybe JeffW will come up with some fried chicken for us this week to make up for my lack.
I shun plastic whenever possible. So my meats, poultry and fish are wrapped in foil in the freezer. I think it keeps them better than plastic bags, less freezer burn, etc. Now this poses a problem, mainly identification. There are many ways to solve this – freezer pens, freezer tape, segregation. The latter is what I’ve always done. I just have everything separated and I can reach in and grab a wrapped package and know if it’s chicken breasts or ribeye.
Or at least I could. Something happened this week. I’m blaming it on a capricious freezer fairy. But I have reached in, grabbed a foil wrapped package, put it in the refrigerator to thaw, unwrapped it and WTF?! Chicken thighs turned out to be chicken breasts, not that big of a deal. Hamburger turned out to be small piece of sirloin. A little more challenging.
Tonight I thought for sure I had it right. Boneless chicken thighs. I was going to slice them up, stir fry them with some green onions, garlic and Ponzu sauce and serve with brown rice. Yummy and easy.
My chicken thighs? London broil. Luckily it was still slightly frozen, so I could slice it thin without too much effort and then I prepared it just as I would have the thighs. Whole different flavor, but what the heck, I’m always up for a little adventure in cooking.
Tomorrow? I’m still searching for those boneless chicken thighs. This time I”m sure I have it right. BBQ and garlic mash potatoes. Or not.
BTW, sliced up the tomato today and it was awesome. Can’t wait for the real harvest.