I love fried chicken. When I lived in Dallas, my sophamore year at SMU, I lived across the street from Bubba’s. If you live in Dallas, you KNOW what I’m talking about. To this day when I visit Dallas I have a certain food circuit that must occur, and one of the stops is at Bubba’s for fried chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a biscuit with honey. HELLO, roll me over and stick a fork in my heart, I’m done!
All that is to say, I have a weakness for fried chicken.
Well, I’ve been making my way through Rocco Dispirito’s, “Now Eat This!!” cookbook, and I was excited to see a recipe for “Flash Fried Finger Lickin’ Chicken“.
This could be a winner.
Now stick with me. It may seem complicated, but it really is not. I think this whole process took me 35 minutes TOTAL. And mind you, my favorite guy was not home from work yet, and I was running back and forth from the kitchen to the front room trying to keep the kids from entering the hole in the wall contstruction zone. All that to say, I probably could have done it in under 35 minutes.
While the kids took their nap I mixed up the flour mixture in a Ziplock – flour, paprika, celery salt, black pepper, salt and cayenne. Then when I was ready to make this in the evening, I dumped it into a shallow dish.
As with any recipe, when you’re ready to make everything, in order to make the process go smoothly and quickly, definitely get EVERY POSSIBLY ingredient, untensil, pot, bowl, dish, etc out and in one place in the kitchen. You will be AMAZED how much faster the whole process goes!
Once it’s all out and waiting for ya, then you can get started…
I cut the chicken breast into little nuggets (more kid friendly than the thighs the recipe calls for). Added the chicken to a pot with broth and brought it to a simmer to poach (if you said poach for anything else, my face would turn green and I would have to turn my head. But I went with it, and am so glad that I did!). While the chicken was simmering, I poured the oil into a pot to start heating up. Once the chicken was cooked, about 15-20 minutes for nuggets, I dumped em all into a bowl with the buttermilk.
Addie was a little intrigued by this step….
Addie: “How come mama, how come?”
Mom: “You’re guess is as good as mine Punkin!” (I say this as it’s totally reverse from most fried chicken recipes. You would normally marinate in buttermilk, often overnight, then bread, THEN fry/cook, but not in this case.).
Grab each chicken piece, dunk it in the bread mixture (the one I made during nap time and had now poured into a shallow bowl). Dunk it back in the buttermilk, and then back in the bread mixture, and then onto a cookie sheet.
Once all the chicken has been breaded, the oil should be plenty hot. I set a plate with a paper towel next to the stove top. I’m showing you the photo below so you can see the pot I chose to fry in. The recipe called for a pot with tall sides, but this worked fine for me, I think I had 2″ of oil that I had heated on med-high.
Now here is the awesome part of this recipe. It will take you about 2 minutes to fry up all the chicken. You literally drop the chicken in and in about 5 seconds you take it out and place it on the paper towel. Remember the chicken is already cooked, all you’re doing now is getting that outer super yummy crunchy layer. So you place it in the pot and the minute it’s golden, you take it out. (This also cuts the fat WAAAAY down!) My Fave guy came home at about this point and was popping them into his mouth like candy. We both agreed that the chicken was super juicy and VERY tasty! This will become a regular one for us. I want to try it next time using other bread coatings too. This one was great and we all loved it (kids had it with a side of ranch), but the recipe seems easy enough to be able to adapt with different flavors and breading options.
The photo below is only to show you the pot. We did make the Faux mashed potatoe recipe (which uses Cauliflower) but it didn’t go over well with either us (I’ve had a better one, from the South Beach Diet I think). In the end we decided we would rather cut the calories in the chicken, but eat real mashed potatoes!
Seriously, do not be afraid of this recipe or the steps. It’s easy and tasty, AND good for you! (and if I WAS making mashed potatoes for this, I would have put them on to boil in the beginning when poaching the chicken, and then drained them and set aside just before I started frying the chicken. When the chicken flash frying was done (2 minutes later) I would have prepared the potatoes which would give the chicken a chance to cool for the kids mouths. Then everything would be ready, with no time wasted!
In the words of Yo Gabba Gabba, “Try it! You might like it!”
Flash Fried Finger Lickin’ Chicken
Adapted from ~ “Now Eat This!” Rocco Dispirito
*** TIP: If you want to print this recipe (or any other on this site), click the “Share It” link at the bottom of the post, then scroll to “printer friendly”, then print! This is something I’m hoping to make easier in the updates, but that should help you for now!
3 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
4 skinless, bone in chicken thighs (I used 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts)
2 quarts grapeseed oil (I used 1 quart canola oil)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1 Tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- Heat the chicken broth in a medium sauce-pot over high heat, seasoning it generously with salt. Add the chicken to the pan and bring the broth to a simmer. cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes (for thighs, I used breasts cut as nuggets and it was about 20 minutes).
- While the chicken is cooking, pour the oil into a large pot and bring it to 400 degrees over high heat. Set a plate with a paper towel (or a wire rack) for draining chicken next to pot. In a shallow dish combine, the flour, with the paprika, celery salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne. Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove from the liquid and pat dry (I bypassed this step and lifted the nuggets straight from the pot and dropped them in the buttermilk bowl). Cover with buttermilk, then dredge in the seasoned flour mixture. Dip them back in the buttermilk, then back in the flour mixture.
- Fry the chicken, I did about 5 nuggets at a time, in the hot oil until golden brown. Drain and serve immediately.
Happy Frying my Friends!!