Thursday, November 12, 2009

Panko Crusted Chicken Strips

There is a lot of stuff out there that resembles food, reminds you of food... It comes in a plastic bag or box in the freezer section. It's fully cooked. You prepare by heating it in the oven or microwave. It is not nutritious for the body or the mind the way food is. It is soulless, a product, an invention. Not food.

Panko Crusted Chicken Strips
What follows is more of a procedure than a recipe. You'll need a heavy bottom pan or skillet. A cast iron is great, but another skillet or a kettle is fine. Add 1/2 inch oil. I use canola oil, but peanut oil is another good choice.

Breading and frying requires a dry and a wet. Common wets are egg, buttermilk, or cream. Common dries are flour, cornmeal and breadcrumbs. I often use egg for my wet and equal parts of flour and cornmeal for my dry. That's what my mom did. Season your dry. Salt, pepper, herbs.

For this dish, take out two pie plates, shallow casserole dishes or shallow bowls. Wet in one and dry in the other. For the dry, equal parts all-purpose flour and panko bread crumbs. Panko(Japanese bread crumbs) is found in the Asian section at the store. Exact measurements depend upon how much chicken you are cooking. For 1 cup flour and 1 cup panko, add 1 t. salt and 1/2 t pepper. If you don't want to use panko, substitute cornmeal. Changes the texture of the breading but both ways are good.

For the wet, three eggs whisked together. Start by dipping and rolling the chicken in the wet. Lift each piece up to allow the excess to drip away and put it in the dry. Roll each piece in the dry to coat. This is a messy procedure, and not in a good way.

Heat the oil for a couple minutes. Holding each piece by one end slowly lower them into the oil. I fry on high heat. Depending upon your pot, your burner, and your comfort level, adjust the heat down if you wish. Using tongs, turn each piece, cooking until brown all over.

If cooking more than one skillet worth, and why wouldn't you, remove cooked chicken and add new pieces until all pieces are cooked. Add additional oil to keep the level Eat with dipping sauces of your choice. Pack left overs for lunches.

Would your kids eat that?

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