Saturday, April 10, 2010

Garlicky Chicken Strips

My son loves chicken nuggets and chicken fingers. I am trying to get away from buying pre-packaged frozen foods, so I made these chicken fingers with actual chicken (no fillers!) My son was very happy with the end result and also helped me prepare them by using a fork to give the chicken pieces their egg baths. He doesn't like gooey things, but if your kids do, have them help with the whole breading process. It's fun!

What you will need:

  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into strips or nuggets
  • 3-4 eggs, scrambled, seasoned with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying (I use a mixture of corn and olive)
  • Marinade - see recipe below or use any marinade you like

What to do:
Place cut chicken pieces into marinade and mix well to ensure all pieces are coated. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour, or as long as 6 hours.

When you are ready to prepare the chicken for frying:

  1. Place the flour in a tray or pan with sides like a cake pan to limit the mess
  2. Place the breadcrumbs in another tray or pan.
  3. Take a piece of chicken and wipe off some of the excess marinade.
  4. Put the piece of chicken it in the egg, coating completely.
  5. After coating with egg, let the excess egg drip off and coat the piece in flour.
  6. Shake off excess flour and put the chicken back into the egg.
  7. Let excess egg drip off and coat the piece completely with bread crumbs, turning over until the outside of the chicken is coated and feels quite dry.
  8. Repeat until all pieces are coated, working carefully to ensure that the coating stays on the chicken. You can sprinkle extra bread crumbs on the coated pieces to stop them from sticking to each other.
  9. When all pieces are coated, heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan over a low-medium or medium flame. The oil is ready for frying when a drop of water dropped into it "pops" noisily. Be careful, if you use this method, though. Hot oil hurts! You can, instead, put the end of a wooden utensil into the oil. If the oil bubbles around it, it's hot enough.
  10. Place chicken pieces into the pan carefully, not touching. They should sizzle when you place them in, but gently. If the oil is loud and furious, it's too hot. Turn it down a bit.
  11. When pieces are golden on one side, or a little brown for extra crispiness, turn them to the other side. When the second side is browned, remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Press down gently on the chicken to make sure it feels firm but not hard. If the chicken is too soft, it's probably not cooked through.
  12. When you're done frying, they're ready to serve!

Yogurt and Garlic Marinade:

1 cup of plain yogurt
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup of chopped parsley
juice of one lime

Mix marinade ingredients together.

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