I. Love. Fried. Chicken.
But, guess what?
Besides french fries (from the *gasp* BAG)...I can't fry worth a damn.
But, guess what? Panko crumbs make EVERYTHING better.
Over the weekend we were trapped inside the house due to the winter storm that swept through the mid-Atlantic. I believe that was a biggest snow storm this area has received in a long time. Anyhoo...after making Tyler Florence's Crispy Sesame Chicken & Spinach Salad a couple of weeks back (which I still have to post), I still had a major hankering for fried chicken tenders. My hankering deepened after my friend Melissa posted a blog entry about healthy chicken nuggets. But, I wanted to be bad...so bad. I wanted oily, greasy, not-as-good-as-baking-it-in-the-oven-coated-in-ground-oatmeal-flax-wheat-germ chicken tenders.
So, I marinated some breasts for several hours...then made them and enjoyed the silence of ravenous carnivores horking down some good arse chicken.
I love you greasy food.
Tan's Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
Chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
1-2 cups buttermilk (depending on amount of chicken breasts & method for marinating)
4-6 dashes pepper sauce (ie. Texas Pete or some fake Tabasco...use Tabasco if you don't have precious kiddie mouths that you don't want to incinerate)
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. paprika
1+ cup panko crumbs
Salt & fresh ground pepper
1. Mix together buttermilk, pepper sauce, garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 t. black pepper, & 3/4. t. salt. Set aside.
2. On a plate, season 1 cup panko crumbs with salt & pepper. Taste the mix to see if it is adequately seasoned. Set aside.
3. Slice the chicken crosswise in half so you are now looking at two breasts that are 1/2 the thickness of the original breast. You can also skip this step.
4. Marinate in mixture for 1-4 hours (overnight is a-ok too).
5. Heat oven to warm or lowest setting (if you have cut the breasts in half) or to 350 (if you have left them whole).
6. Take chicken breast. Shake off excess marinade and press into panko mixture. Coat both sides evenly. Repeat for several more breasts or however many can fit into your pan...speaking of...
7. Heat up oil (I used a mixture of high-temp heart-healthy canola & antioxidant-packed extra virgin olive oil...you like how I'm justifying frying, right?) over medium heat in the largest pan you have. Make sure you have at least a 1/2 inch depth of oil.
8. Fry both sides of chicken until golden brown and cooked through. They should cook fairly quickly since they have been halved. If you didn't cut the breasts, fry both sides until golden brown. It will be underdone and you'll finish off in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.