Buttermilk Chicken Tenders.

I spent much of my early restaurant-going life ordering chicken fingers, exclusively. It’s not that I was a particularly picky eater; I just knew that nothing else could possibly tempt a 12-year-old Kelly more than a plate of juicy chicken with honey mustard sauce, so I ordered them everywhere I went. Eventually I branched out and became the more adventurous eater that I am today, but every once in a while, I get that old craving. Yesterday, while visiting my family in Denver, I thought it would be fun if we made chicken tenders for dinner, so we fried up a batch. No need to adjust for high altitude, because these get you to heaven all on their own!

INGREDIENTS

For soaking:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

For dredging:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder to taste (I use a medium palmful of each)

DIRECTIONS

Combine chicken strips and all the soaking ingredients in a plastic zip top bag. Knead the bag gently, so that all chicken surface is covered by the buttermilk mixture. Refrigerate at least an hour.

Fill a frying pan about halfway with vegetable oil–just enough to float the chicken, but not quite deep enough to submerge it–and heat over medium-high. Meanwhile, combine all dredging ingredients in a large bowl. Remove marinade bag from fridge and set up a little assembly line: the open bag of marinaded chicken, the bowl of flour mixture, and a plate for the dredged but not yet fried chicken.

To dredge, take one strip from marinade bag, place it in flour mixture, and coat evenly. Then remove from mixture and place on the plate you’ve set out. You’re ready to fry the first batch once you have 3-5 tenders dredged (depending on how many fit comfortably in your pan).

Test the oil by dropping a small clump of the flour mixture into it. If it sizzles and bubbles, it’s ready. Lay each tender in the oil, and be careful of splatter. Don’t crowd the pan–chicken tenders need their space, so you don’t want them touching each other at all.

Cook time is about 10-13 minutes; flip tenders over at the halfway point. When they’re ready to be flipped, the undersides will be crispy and starting to brown. Carefully remove cooked tenders and place on a paper towel, to wick away excess oil. When you remove the first tender from the oil, cut it in half to make sure the middle is cooked and your cook time is sufficient.

That’s it! These will blow your mind. We served them on a bed of lettuce with honey mustard sauce and homemade baked french fries. Just dig that dramatic platter.

Advertisements

Zucchini Latkes.

Passover, which began yesterday, is a very cool holiday. Growing up, I loved to read the story of Moses and the Jews in Egypt. I’m not sure why Christians don’t celebrate Passover, too; it is in their Bible, after all. Anyway, potato latkes are traditionally served┬áduring Hanukkah, not Passover…so these zucchini latkes are pretty much as non-traditional as it gets! That doesn’t really matter–it’s always the right time for frying.

INGREDIENTS

3 medium zucchini, washed, with the ends chopped off
1 carrot, peeled
1 shallot
2 eggs
3 tbsp bread crumbs (obviously use gluten-free bread crumbs here if you need to)
2 oz. feta cheese, finely crumbled
1 tbsp parsley
1 1/4 tsp dill
1 1/4 tsp coriander
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

Grate zucchini, carrot, and shallot into a strainer or colander. Toss with salt and let sit for 20 minutes, to drain off water. Then rinse the mixture, press out excess water, and pat dry with paper towel until no longer wet, but only damp.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Place mixture back in strainer and let sit for 10 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Form mixture into patties and place in the pan.

Fry until brown and crispy on the bottom, and then flip.

When both sides are browned and the middle is cooked through, remove from pan and cool slightly on a paper towel, to wick away excess oil. Serve as is, or with a scoop of sour cream. Yum.