Monday, September 23, 2013

crispy chicken strips, what's not to love


The best thing ever when it comes to fried chicken is its crispy crust and the countless additions you can add to this in order to achieve ultimate savoury variety. The other bit is the fat, and how we normally crank up a pan of vegetable oil for a job like this. Instead, try the oil butter combination as follows for that extra lift of flavour, well worth doing. Seasoning at the end is crucial too, salt being the essential norm, but a quick flash of lemon juice immediately before devouring adds a little something special.
 
Zaatar crusted chicken strips
 
Serves 4

400g chicken strips
seasoned flour (with a good pinch each of zaatar, celery salt, cayenne pepper, paprika and white pepper)
2 small eggs, beaten
100g butter
50ml pure olive oil
 
Roll the chicken in the flour and shake off any excess. Coat thoroughly with the egg and lay on a cooling rack for a minute or so. Dip again into the flour and once more into the beaten egg. Return to the rack and finally dip into the flour. Set aside on the rack until ready to cook. This seemingly excessive dipping and flouring will provide a really good crust, however messy it sounds.
 
Using a shallow pan, melt together the butter and olive oil on a medium heat until the fat starts to crackle and fizzle - drop in a small piece of bread, and if it sizzles and browns nicely, the temperature should be about fine.
 
Slide the chicken into the pan and gently shallow-fry (the depth should be no more than 2-3cm) for 3-5 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and crusted all over. Remove from the pan and lay on a double fold of kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lemon and serve without delay.
 
So long as the temperature of the frying oil and butter mixture doesn't get to the point where it burns, you might like to strain the fat into a small bowl and keep in the fridge for further finger licking frying moments.