This meal is an adaptation from an old family favorite. My Oma makes a lovely Fried Chicken meal, and it’s something that’s so comforting and satisfying. She always does the chicken first on the stove top, and then finishes it in the oven. She likes to serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans.
This adaptation of the chicken, introduces a little more crunch with a subtle spicy touch. The mash is done in the way my mom always did them, inspired by her mom (Oma). So all-in-all it’s a meal with combined tastes and methods from three generations.
The chicken has a really great crunch from corn grits (you may also use cornmeal for a lighter texture). It also has a nice kick from the paprika, and the meat is very tender, but crispy on the edges. Delightful. I also use a combination of coconut oil and canola, because I like the slight sweetness added by the coconut oil, and using both makes it a little more cost effective. I use organic, cold-pressed oil to avoid GMOs and although yes, we’re frying food, I still like to be conscious of this.
The mash benefits from a short time of drying. The drier your boiled potatoes are before you add the liquid, the better potential you’ll have for fluffiness. If you have experienced gummy mash before, and wondered how that happened, it was most likely caused by too much water. The water will work with the potato starches in a way lending to gumminess. Maybe edible, but not the best mash. For a better result, after you finish boiling the potatoes, let them sit in a sieve or colander for a few minutes. Heating up the liquid mixture ensures hot mash to serve. More on this in the recipe.
The rosemary gravy is light and full of flavor. Trust me on the vegetable broth, it offers a great depth of flavor. One of my chef friends from Sur la Table once told me that chicken broth by itself won’t offer that great of flavor, but if you combine it with vegetable broth it suddenly expresses huge amounts of flavor. She was right. Ever since, I have revisited vegetable broth (rejecting my previous belief that it was inferior broth) and now use it almost solely for when broth is needed. I had no idea what I was missing.
Anyways, I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend, and I hope you enjoy the recipes. -R
Fried Chicken Tenders with Mash and Green Beans
Time : 1 hr Serves: 3 Gluten-Free
Simple Chicken Fingers
2 Chicken Breasts, skinless boneless, preferably organic
1/3 cup corn grits (or cornmeal for a lighter crunch), organic
2 tsp himalayan sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup coconut oil, preferably cold-pressed, organic
1/4 cup canola oil, preferably cold-pressed, organic
4-5 medium-large Russet potatoes, eyes removed but skin on, cubed, and boiled till fork tender
2 tbsp salted butter, cubed
1/4-1/3 whole milk, preferably organic
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp ground pepper, or more to taste
Rosemary Hinted Gravy
1/3 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp cornstarch (or flour if not GF)
1/4 tsp himalayan sea salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Roughly about 3 cups of green beans, trimmed
1 tbsp butter, unsalted, preferably organic
1/4 tsp himalayan sea salt
Butterfly chicken (do this by laterally cutting the chicken, starting at the thickest part, into two equal top and bottom sections). Slice chicken into long tenders from top to bottom.
Combine cornmeal, salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet. Once hot, dredge chicken in the cornmeal mixture on both sides and slide gently into the hot oil. Cover skillet to prevent oil from splashing on you. Be aware that while cooking, the oil will probably foam up.
Use tongs to flip chicken once (use the lid as a shield if need be, keeping one side nestled on to the pan). Cook the first side for roughly 3-5 minutes, and the second side for roughly 2-3 minutes. If the cornmeal begins to turn brown before time is up, remove from oil. Some pieces will be darker and some lighter.
Preheat oven to 200ºF. Assemble a baking sheet (with foil if you want an easier cleanup), then a cooling rack on top of that. This allows excess oil to drip off of the chicken rather than soak into your food. This equals less greasy and more crispy finish for your food. Add finished chicken tenders to the cooling rack. Place rack and sheet into the oven.This will help to keep your food warm while you finish cooking.
Drain cooked potatoes, let sit in sieve or colander for 4-5 minutes. In saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and butter to a simmer. At the first hint of it beginning to foam, turn off heat.
Pour a few tablespoons of the liquid mixture into a stand mixer, or high rimmed bowl. Add potatoes. Turn speed to low. Once potatoes start to incorporate, add the rest of the liquid (retain the saucepan for the gravy, no cleaning in between). Let it mix in a couple of revolutions, then turn to high for 30 seconds. Turn off, scrape bowl, add salt and pepper. Continue mixing until it reaches desired consistency.
Rosemary Hinted Gravy:
For gravy, in the same saucepan used for the milk and butter, add vegetable broth. Turn to medium heat. Whisk well and bring up any bits from the previous mixture. Bring liquid to a boil.
In a small cup, add cornstarch. Pour a little bit of the hot vegetable broth into the cornstarch. Whisk until smooth, pour back into main saucepan. Add salt and pepper. Whisk to incorporate, turn heat to medium low. Add sprigs of rosemary and let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn off heat.
Fill a large pot with water to about a couple inches. Add green beans and turn heat to high. Let green beans boil for about 4 minutes or until green beans are darker bright green. Turn off heat. Drain, add back to pot. Add butter and salt. Let rest until ready to serve.