Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chicken Love

Y'all here is the deal, I had no idea that when we moved to South Carolina it was going to be like the chicken capital of the world...we are inundated with awesome chicken places...we have Zaxby's, Chick fil A, Bojangles, and then of course your regular old KFC and Long John Silvers. Zaxby's is my fave. I just love their chicken it is just delish. The deal with all of this is since we moved here we have been on a budget and we are not eating out very often at all. In spite of the budget I kept finding myself craving chicken strips. So I set out to master them...and I kind of have! (not one to brag, they are pretty good though). I have made them several times and a few times my husband has said 'why don't you take pictures of this so you can write a blog post about them, they are so good' well tonight I did just that.

1 bag frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins
quart of buttermilk
2 tsp. hot sauce
2 1/2 cups flour
all purpose seasoning of your choice
salt and pepper

Here is the first trick. You have to soak the chicken tenders in buttermilk and hot sauce for about 2 or 3 hours. You can put them in the bag still frozen and then leave them in the sink or put them back in the fridge if you are going to soak them for longer.

I just took this picture so you could see the seasonings I chose to use. I like the strips to have a little spice to them but not too much so if you want them a little spicier you can add more hot sauce to the buttermilk or more spicy seasonings to the flour.

This picture is so you can see the ratio of spices to flour I used. I think I used about a TBSP of the creole stuff and about a tsp of each of the others.
Next you are going to dredge each of the strips individually in the flour mixture and then lay them one at a time on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. This is the other tip that is very important. You need to let the chicken sit with the coating on them for a little bit until the flour mixture starts to look like a paste. If you aren't sure what I mean, I took a picture...
Do you see how the tenders look like they are kind of 'wet', that doesn't happen until they have been sitting there for a few minutes. In other words don't get ahead of yourself and just take the strip from the flour to the fryer, which is exactly what I used to do and then all the breading fell off.
I don't deep fry mine, mainly cause I do not own a deep fryer, so I just shallow fry them in a big frying pan, like this-
See how you can still see the tops of the tenders coming out of the oil? I fill the pan with about a 1/2" of oil. Fry them for about 5 minutes on each side.
Here they are all finished...and yes, that is homemade ranch dipping sauce to go with them.
So y'all are going to get a little bonus here. I have been trying to get my family to like homemade macaroni and cheese for years. They are ridiculous. I mean who in the world doesn't love homemade mac and cheese, right? Well here in the south mac and cheese is not a main course, it's a side dish, and you really shouldn't serve fried chicken without mac and I made some and I took a few pictures.
First, I have learned that one of the tricks to good mac and cheese is good cheese. I used these three cheeses as a combo, the Gruyere is a good melting cheese so I like to add it. I didn't use all the mozzarella, only about half of that block.
First I made the roux, which is 3 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of Wondra flour, mixed them together with a whisk and then added about a pint of whole milk, then added all of the cheeses and mixed them until they were smooth and creamy. Oh wait, I left out about a cup of the grated cheese to top the pasta with. Here is what it looked like before it went in the oven.
I baked it at 375 for about 30 minutes, which was exactly how long it took me to fry the chicken, I love when things work out like that. To balance out this meal a little tiny bit I added fresh, steamed broccoli. Here is a picture of my husband's serving.
I had to clarify that so that y'all didn't think I had eaten all that! It was all super yummy and the family loved it, even the mac and cheese.
Well that is about all I have to share today. Tomorrow you can go over to my other blog So They Will Always Remember and read a post that is super important to me and read why tomorrow is a very special day to me. For now, I need to go watch the X Factor...I am hooked on that show!

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhh, this meal is so me. You are quite the cook my it.