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I started cooking as a kid and have found it to be a passion for me throughout my life. I've worked in a cooking specialty store, ran a catering company and most importantly, fed my family and expressed my love for them through food.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken Fried Chicken with Panko

I grew up with a traditional "whole chicken cut up and fried" kind of fried chicken.  But since we don't really eat dark meat, I find myself never making fried chicken.  Here's my alternative. 

Don't get me wrong...this is not quick and it is not low fat but it is insanely good
You'll need three low bowls for breading, a jelly roll pan with a cooling rack on top as well as a big skillet and a cutting board and sharp knife and a big zip lock bag (or plastic wrap).  For ingredients you'll need about 2 pounds of chicken breasts, 3 eggs, an entire box of panko, about 1 cup of flour, salt and pepper and plenty of veggie oil.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

First, dry off the chicken with a paper towel.   Lay out a couple of long lengths of waxed paper on the counter.  For fat breasts, I cut them horizontally into 2 or 3 slabs.  At a minimum, I do one cut across the breasts horizontally.  Next, put each piece in a zip lock bag, (large) but don't zip it.  With a mallot, pound each to be a bout 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.  When done pounding, spread out onto the waxed paper and season with salt and pepper generously on both sides.

You're ready to bread the chicken..pull out three low bowls.  In the first bowl, put in about 3/4 cup of flour.  In the second, beat 3 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk.  And finally, fill the last bowl with Panko crumbs.  These are Japanese, crispy and wonderful...but can not be swapped for regular dry breadcrumbs. 

I usually keep one hand dry and one wet...so with my right hand I drop the chicken in the flour to coat all sides and then drop into the egg.  With the left hand I flip the chicken over to coat with egg then move to the Panko.  With my right (dry) hand I coat well with the Panko.  Then transfer to the waxed paper.

The waxed paper is important as you will end up with what looks like a HUGE amount of chicken and need a place prepared to "set" it.

Now you're ready to fry....in a large skillet, brown the chicken in small batches till golden on both sides over medium high heat.

THIS IS IMPORTANT...once you fry it, transfer the chicken to a cooling rack sitting on a jelly roll plan.  You're browning it just to get it brown, not to cook it through...you'll do that in the oven.

Once all of the chicken is cooked and on the rack, pop into the oven for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, in your chicken pan, add about 3 shallots (or red onion in a pinch) finely chopped.  Saute for about 1 minute on medium.  Next, add about 3-4 tablespoons of flour to the drippings and shallots.  Cook the flour for about 2-3...ideally it gets a little brown.  Next, add about 2-3 cups of milk.  Cook on medium till it thickens.  Use more milk if needed to get it to a correct consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

I always make mashed spuds.  Always.  Because nothing is better than "milk" gravy, fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Again, this makes A LOT...so be prepare to heat up leftover chicken back on the rack on the jelly roll pan in the oven, and enjoy some great chicken sandwiches!!

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