Weekly Winner: A Unique Twist on Fried Chicken — Sandy Chicken?

Alex's ChickenMaybe winter has lasted a bit too long here in Chicago, or maybe I just need a vacation and my thoughts are turning to the beach.  Whatever the reason, there were two times during the preparation and eating of this week’s Weekly Winner that I thought of sand.  And while usually sand is not a good thing in a food recipe, trust me – here, it is.

So, the recipe is Breaded Chicken with Mustard and Dry Sherry, and it comes from my newest obsession cookbook – “Old-School Comfort Food” by Alex Guarnaschelli.  I have always loved her food and her approach to food and while this is the first recipe I made from the book, I am anxious to work my way through each and every delicious recipe.

The first time sand came into mind was when I was breading the chicken.  Rolling the chicken pieces around in the super fine, store-bought bread crumbs (per her recommendation) that had been mixed with melted butter felt just like playing in warm, damp sand.  The second time was taking my first bite.  The wonderful breading on the chicken was, well… it was sandy.  But like I said, in a good way.  Buttery, tasty, crispy sand.  Trust me, you’ll agree…. just try it.

Breaded Chicken with Mustard and Dry Sherry

Serves 4

Ingredients:

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup dry sherry

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T Tabasco sauce

2 T Dijon mustard

¼ cup canola oil

1 (3.5 – 4 lb) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces:  each breast half split into 2 even pieces with the wings still attached, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs.

1-1/2 cups plain dried bread crumbs

5 T unsalted butter, melted

Kosher salt

Lemon wedges

Directions:

  1.  Marinate the chicken:  In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, mustard and canola oil.  With the exception of the wings, remove the skin from the chicken.  Submerge all the chicken pieces in the marinade so that each piece is coated on all sides.  Put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the chicken and add a heavy weight, such as a small plate, to ensure the chicken is submerged in the marinade.  Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  3. Cook the chicken:  In the medium bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and butter.  Season with a few large pinches of salt.  Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, allowing any excess liquid to drip off.  Roll chicken in the bread crumbs.  Take care to bread all sides of each piece.  Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet with a fitted rack.  Bake until the pieces are cooked through (internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees F) and the bread crumbs are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the broiler
  5. Put the chicken under the broiler for a minute or two, watching, to further brown the bread crumbs.  Serve with lemon wedges.
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