Move over Colonel Sanders! There’s a new chick in town! There’s nothing better than fried chicken, but how do you create a crispy crunchy fried chicken without all the thick crust, the heavy breading, the deep frying? How do you create a delicately light and tasty ‘fried chicken’ that’s full of flavor and that’s fried every so slowly so that when you slice into it, the juices just ooze out?
Listen up…I’ve got an option for you! First you start with nice large chicken breast filets. Sure you love the skin, but you don’t need it. Then you use spices that introduce to your palate new flavors with hints of excitement! As Monica Bhide (who writes for NPR) describes in her article on garam masala, “Garam Masala: A Taste Worth Acquiring,“ ‘…the magic behind garam masala. It makes such a difference in a dish: cinnamon adds sweetness, pepper adds heat, nutmeg adds complexity, coriander makes it a touch lemony and adds texture. The spices all play so well together!’ I’ve added ancho chili powder to create slightly more heat and spice–it’s a wonderful combination of flavors. Lastly, you use olive oil and some butter and pan saute the breasts ever so slowly steaming them through and acquiring a golden brown crisp on the outside.
What you need:
2 large chicken breasts that have been somewhat pounded flat
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ tsp ancho chili powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ cup olive oil
4 tbl butter
1 tsp dried parsley or 2 tbl fresh chopped parsley (garnish)
What you do:
- Have breast filets pounded out somewhat and set aside on parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, chili powder, and garam masala. Mix well.
- Coat each breast filet well on both sides and around with the flour mixture. Use the palm of you hand to pat it in and add more.
- Over medium heat in a medium to large sauté pan (you don’t want to crowd the breasts), heat olive oil and butter. Lay each chicken filet in and cook on medium low heat for about 7-9 minutes on the first side down. Cover loosely with a lid to harness the steam. (Note: The thickness of your filet will matter in cooking for doneness.) Flip the breast filet and cook for another 7-9 minutes on the other side. Increase heat near the end of cooking to crisp slightly and get more golden browning on both sides.
- When done, remove from heat and let drain on a brown paper bag (the ones you get from the grocery store are great!) preferably—this is better than a paper towel which can create sticking and/or your chicken can lose some of its crunch on the outside. Let ‘rest’ about 5 minutes, then serve. This chicken is great the next day as a leftover!
- I love to serve the chicken breast filet perched atop a bed of sautéed fresh greens like chard, kale, collards, leaf lettuces, etc., and a mixture thereof!
©2012 Alice D’Antoni Phillips Ally’s Kitchen