Updated: May 15
First recipe workshop on the table is fried chicken!
We tried to fry slider sized chicken breasts for some buffalo chicken sliders. We served these sliders with a side of baked macaroni and cheese and mixed vegetables.
If you have ever eaten gluten free bread before, you know it just tastes better when its toasted. So, I preheated the oven to 400° and buttered each of my buns. For the sliders, I used the gluten free dinner rolls by Ener-G. The Ener-G brand bread is really good, the taste is not exactly like regular bread; however this is by far the sturdiest bread we have tried. After buttering each bun, I sprinkled some garlic powder and Italian seasonings and popped those suckers in the oven to toast.
Next, I cut my chicken breasts to the size I needed. For two people, I used two chicken breasts cut down to three sliders each. You could certainly use more, if you have more mouths to feed (or if you want more than three sliders... I'm not here to judge!)
I took two small bowls (cereal bowls worked perfectly fine for me), in one bowl I cracked one egg and poured about a tablespoon and a half of milk and whisked these two ingredients together. In the second bowl, I added a half cup of gluten free all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, roughly 2 teaspoons of cracked pepper, a teaspoon of salt, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I dredged each chicken piece in the egg mixture first, then the flour, then the egg again and finally the flour again. I set the now dredged chicken pieced aside.
Checked the buns to make sure they were not burned - still need a little toasting.
I took out a large frying pan with raised edges and added about 3/4 cup of oil to the pan, turned to medium heat. Wait for the oil to warm up before adding your chicken. Once the oil was warm, I added each chicken piece to the pan. I was able to fit all of my chicken pieces at once, you will need to judge based on the size of your pan and number of chicken pieces.
Once there was a crisp layer of skin on the first side of my chicken, I CAREFULLY flipped each piece. I used a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of each chicken piece to insure each was finished. Once I was confident they were fully cooked, I pulled each piece from the pan and placed them on a paper towel covered plate to cool. I grabbed the toasted buns from the oven, placed one chicken piece on each bun and poured buffalo ranch sauce over each one before topping with the top of each bun.
What Went Right??
This chicken was not dry at all! The outside had a wonderful crispy texture, while the inside was tender and juicy. Exactly the texture you want from a yummy chicken sandwich. I also found the process to be quite simple. I had been referring to fried chicken as my "Moby Dick" for the past year. I was absolutely terrified of tackling this dish and honestly, once I had done it, all that fear seemed really silly... and unnecessary.
I am a perfectionist by trade, always have been, probably always will be. This perfectionism makes it really difficult for me to tackle dishes I have never made before, but my mom said something to me that really put things into perspective. "What are you afraid of? If you mess up... you can always throw it out and try again." I mean... she ain't wrong...
Sounds Great... So Then What Went Wrong?
Well, though the texture was spot on, the taste just wasn't quite there. This always seems to be a struggle with gluten free flour. For some reason, when this is featured prominently in a recipe the taste is always just a little bit bland. Granted, not all gluten free flours are created equal and that likely has a huge affect on flavor. I have always used King Arthur's Measure for Measure gluten free all purpose flour. Moving forward, we are really going to amp seasonings. Add more than we usually would and different types in an attempt to get some flavor in there. In the meantime, sauces are definitely your friend!
Another odd turnout was that the crispy skin didn't seem to stick to the chicken. You know how when you eat a piece of fried chicken, you can sort of peel the skin away to eat on its own? Well, the skin on ours just sort of... fell off? I did a little research and it looks like adding cornstarch to your flour mixture can help the skin adhere to the chicken better, so that will be the next experiment!
Please Reach Out!
If you have ever made gluten free fried chicken or have any tips or tricks that could translate to a gluten free kitchen, I want to hear them! I will keep you all apprised of any new tricks of the trade I run across! Until next time -