Friday, February 1, 2013

Fried Chicken

So, last night for dinner we had fried chicken. This is one I'm still experimenting with a bit, and it's rarely exactly the same every time. Mostly I mix up the herbs and spices that go into the mix, but this will cover all the basics.
The funny thing is, I didn't really make fried chicken all that often before going gluten free. It was always just so much easier to buy it from the frozen foods section, so that is what we usually did. But, after going gluten free, that really stopped being an option, so I HAD to figure out how to do this on my own.  We had already started doing onion rings at home once in a while, (though even there, I had to make changes, we use to use this lovely peppered gravy mix and tempora in the blend for that, so all of those had to be replaced, too..) so I started playing with the recipe and techniques I was using for that.

I am going to show 2 variations here, though it uses the same recipe. One of them calls for an egg wash and a thicker batter, the other skips the egg wash and uses a thinned down batter. Both wind up tasting the same, but there is a difference in the "tooth" of them and it will depend on what your family prefers. My hubby is just fine with either version, but he prefers the thinned out batter one just a little bit more because of the difference in the texture.
(Yes, I did a LOT of chicken last night.. Two packages of "thin sliced breasts" was what I used. Some of them I left whole, the others I cut into chicken fingers and nuggets. We've got our grand daughter for the weekend, and everyone seems to be coming down with colds, so figured I'd make extra for the weekend.)
I did actually remember to write just about everything down as I was going this time. Amazing and unheard of around here. So, for this batter recipe you will need:
1 1/3 c flour (I used Mama's Coconut blend)
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp basil
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 egg
 1 1/4 c milk (*This makes the thicker batter, for the thinner one, add additional milk until it gets to the consistency you want. Since I did this later after the batter mix had been "depleted" a bit I didn't measure what I added)

** Feel free to mix up the spice blend as much as you want. Add some paprika, some chili powder, whatever you like.

Once your batter is mixed up, and your chicken cut and ready to go, you will need to get your egg wash mixture, your dredging flour and bread crumbs ready as well.
For the egg wash, I used 3 eggs and beat them together with a splash of worcestershire sauce.

I have pictures for the thicker batter version, but will describe both options as we go.

First step: dredge chicken in flour.....

.. then in egg...  (if doing the thinner batter version, you would skip the egg wash and bread crumbs and go to dipping in the thinned out batter..)

Then it's on to the bread crumbs. I did use our go to commercial variety. I like them. They are pre-seasoned, and, right now, I don't make bread often enough to have left overs for crumbs.

(If you are doing the thinned out batter version, the crumbs come on after the batter and then it goes directly into the oil. I also need to try baking them when done in that style one of these days..)

Then into the batter!

And into the fry pan!

Here is a side by side comparison of the two "styles" after they were all done:

 The one on the left is the thicker batter.            And the one over here on the right, is the thinner batter.

You can see this one has a much thicker "crust" and it's just a little bit softer and almost bread like.  It has a softer and chewier tooth to it.

Whereas, this one has a thinner, crispier crust to it. It's crisper and a bit crunchier. This is why my hubby likes this one.. He likes the crunchy bits.

Also, a note, for those out there, who. like me, don't always manage to get the chicken cooked all the way through before the crust is perfect. If you don't want to burn your crust just to get your chicken cooked, brown it up nicely, then stick it in the oven. I had my oven set to 250 while I was cooking and put the chicken in there as I cooked. It kept everything warm and finished off the larger pieces that might not have gotten cooked all the way through.

We served this with gluten free spaghetti and salad past night.

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