laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

food glorious food!

on March 11, 2011

I don’t especially like when hubbyman has to work late. But… sometimes I appreciate that it gives me extra time to get things done, because I like to make the most of the time he has with us! And if you read yesterday’s post you know I am undertaking the project of “The Love Dare” on my family. Yesterday’s dare (on top of continuing the “not saying anything negative”) was to do something kind. Well, I’m at home all day with 3 little ones and the puppy… and I was a little tempted to just say the not saying anything negative thing was kindness enough! Instead, I put my kindness into “man language.” Also known as food. A language my husband, and even my children, recognize as love. I’d gotten a wonderful magazine (Disney FamilyFun) from my aunt with “ways to jazz up dinner” by Andrew Zimmern (from the TV show Bizarre Foods). And two caught my eye: Korean Fried Chicken Fingers and Chinese Peanut-Sesame Noodles. I opted for the first, but I’m hoping to try the noodles this weekend! While Erik came home earlier than anticipated and I started it a little later than I’d anticipated… it was still a hit! While fried of course isn’t the healthiest of choices, it’s better for you (and tasting!) than mcnuggets! The kids really LOVED it and so did the adults. So much in fact, I’m tempted to make it again tonight! And maybe you should try it too! Here’s how:

Marinade:

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup minced scallion
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 8 lg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each sliced lengthwise into three strips

Side note: I didn’t have everything to make this recipe “exact” (and it just might kill me to follow a complete recipe word for word) used 1/2  cup minced red onion (because that’s Erik’s favorite so it’s what we had) and I didn’t have white pepper so I just used my black pepper grinder. I also used sea salt instead of table salt. Oh, and I used boneless, skinless chicken breast instead of thigh (again because it’s what I had!)

In a  large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chicken and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, but as long as overnight.   (I suggest overnight or a few hours. I only did maybe 1/2 hr and it was still really good but I’d like to give the flavors longer to set in next time)

Batter:

  1. Oil for frying
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 2/3 cup corn starch
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper
  7. 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  8. 3/4 cup cold water

Side note: I used veg. oil, but plan to try sunflower oil next time! And the flour I did 1/4 cup almond meal flour (because it’s just so yummy!) and 1/4 cup all-purpose gluten free flour. Again, I also used sea salt instead of table salt.

Fill a heavy, deep pan with 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat it to 350 degrees. combine the dry ingredients for the batter. Quickly whisk in the water until the mixture is evenly blended.

Use tongs or a pair of chopsticks to dip and coat the chicken in the batter. Fry the strips in batches of 6 for 5-7 minutes, then drain on paper towels.  (I found that about 6ish minutes was a good time. And once you put them in, let them settle, and then scrape them off the bottom. If  you wait to long they stick and removing them pulls a lot of the breading off. Also I’d just the next 6 strips in the batter while the other batch was frying.)

Heat the oil to 380 degrees. Fry the chicken in batches once more until crisp, about 60-90 seconds. Place the cooked chicken fingers on fresh paper towels and sprinkle them with salt. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

*If you were in a time crunch and didn’t mind using the extra oil, you could have a second pan set up so that after you drained the chicken you could immediately move it into the hotter oil.

The chicken would be good with rice or any kind of potato, or really any vegetable for that matter! I made mashed potatoes but forgot all about them! (Guess what we’re having tonight?!) And for the dipping sauce we used sweet and sour. (the recipe suggested it) Although really any kind of dip you have or enjoy would be good with this, I would think. It did also suggest a dip you could serve with it for a spicy kick…but I didn’t have most of the ingredients, and Miss E is allergic to most of them anyways. Plus I kind of shy away from recipes where I’d have to buy a lot of ingredients that I wouldn’t know what to do with other than this one recipe. (Although I do admit it does sound good.) So for the bold, here you go:

Spicy Korean Red-Pepper Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Gochujang (Korean red-pepper paste found in Asian markets)
  • 3 tbs ketchup
  • 1/4 agave nectar (or in a pinch, corn syrup)
  • 1 tbs dark sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

Mommy’s Helper Note: I like to make things the kids can help with and the kids LOVE eating things that they’ve helped to make. While they obviously can’t help with the raw chicken or the frying… I did put the chicken in a ziploc and had them help me pound them with a rolling pin (not necessary but thought they’d cook more evenly if they were uniform and I knew the kids would enjoy the activity). And I always let them help me “unload”  all the ingredients into the bowl for the batter.

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