Weekly Winner: Fabulous, Fuss-Free “Fried” Chicken – and a killer sauce

magic chickenI just got back from a trip to Denver where I had one of the top five Fried Chicken experiences in my life.  Totally amazing, crispy, crunchy, soul-satisfying chicken.  Not diet-friendly however.  But hey, that’s what vacation is for – to indulge.

Now that I’m home and trying to “recover”, I wanted to try this recipe for Magic Crispy Chicken that I came across in Bon Appetit.  I’ve tried different versions of “oven fried” chicken before and while they are easier and less messy than traditional fried chicken, they seldom deliver on taste and crunch satisfaction.  This version does.  Make extra of the dipping sauce…. you’ll want to put that on just about everything!

Magic Crispy Chicken

Serves 4

1 large egg yolk

3 Tbsp plus 1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp  plus 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1-1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 large)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp honey

Pinch of cayenne

3 Tbsp finely chopped chives

Procedure:

  1. Place rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450F.  Whisk egg yolk, 3 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp mustard, 1-1/2 tsp salt and several grinds of black pepper in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. With a knife parallel to the cutting board, slice breast into 1/2″-thick cutlets.  Place in bowl and turn with tongs to evenly coat.  Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium.  Add a pinch of panko.  If tiny bubbles appear instantly, the oil is hot enough.  Add remaining panko and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Let panko cool in pan about 5 minutes.
  4. Place a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.  Using tongs, place a piece of chicken in panko and pat all over with panko, pressing firmly to adhere.  Lightly shake off excess and place chicken on rack.  Repeat with remaining chicken, spacing evenly apart on rack.  Discard any remaining panko.
  5. Bake chicken until cooked through and breadcrumbs are deep golden brown, 10-15 minutes.  Let cool slightly.
  6. Stir honey, cayenne, and remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup mustard in a bowl; season with black pepper.  Add chives to sauce.
  7. Serve chicken with sauce alongside for dipping.
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Weekly Winner: Lovely, Luscious Lo Mein

shrimp lo meinI never met a noodle I didn’t like.  I don’t care what it’s made of – what’s more important to me is what is served with it. (Although I am not above making some spaghetti and butter and calling it dinner… or lunch… or, heck, breakfast if you scramble and egg in it!)  But I digress.

Shrimp Lo Mein is a tasty version of a classic take out or delivery dish.  This version is quicker than delivery and a way-healthier option thanks to the shrimp and loads of veggies included.  The recipe comes from Real Simple and is honestly, just that.

Shrimp Lo Mein

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces lo mein noodles or spaghetti
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (from a 2-in. piece), divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise, quartered if large
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves [in my house, just for hubby]

Procedure:

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain
  2. Whisk soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, sriracha, 1 teaspoon ginger, a third of the garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil,
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, scallions, and remaining 1 teaspoon ginger and two-thirds garlic; cook, stirring often until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add shrimp to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bok choy and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.  Add soy sauce mixture and noodles and toss to coat.
  5. Top with sesame seeds [and cilantro, if you must].