Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cookbook Sundays/Potluck Sunday--fried chicken

I guess I get a little obsessed sometimes.  For instance, take the case of my granddaughter's lost piggy.  (this will become  more relevant to you if you read my posts 2 before this one and my next post) 
Last Christmas I bought she and her twin brother, a  "jack-in-the-box" wolf and 3 little stuffed pigs, and many--maybe 5--different versions/books of the Fairy Tale "The Three Little Pigs".    I bought the same "themed"  gift my my other baby granddaugther too.  (and their older cousins in previous Holiday seasons)   Eli, Emerson and Cassandra---pictured here, because they are so darned cute. 

Even today, if I come across a new version of the Three Little Pigs, I will grab it.  But for some reason they don't sell the particular pig we need anymore.
More on that tomorrow.

 I believe in comparing similar items or good things.  And I believe in "one can never have enough of a good thing"---hence the reason I have so many cookbooks and am joining in on challenges like Potluck Sunday and  Cookbook Sundays--and I believe in "if one is good, more is better"  (But only in certain things... as I am not a collector.  Unless you consider skeleton keys.     

 And clocks.  I do have 12 clocks in my living room.  Only 1 chimes and none cuckoo )

I think "versions"  of the same thing are really interesting tho, so I am inclined to get a bit obsessive when it comes to cookbooks showcasing different interpretations of the same dish. 
And---please stick with me----this really is leading up to my cookbook entry for Cookbook Sundays and Potluck Sunday:  I have this cookbook called The World's Best Fried Chicken Recipes! It is the ultimate in comparing a good thing.

The World!  The whole wide world. This book lets me compare and contrast fried chicken dishes from the whole world.   One can never have enough fried chicken!! And to be able to compare how it's made in Milan compared to Memphis or Bangkok to Buffalo, is just the kind of thing I love.   (just you wait...I also have  "The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup"  and "50 states-50 bowls of chili--they'll be coming up one week soon)

Rarely tho, do we fry up a chicken anymore.  What used to be a Sunday dinner norm, is now the exception because we are all very well aware of  the health benefits of staying away from fried food.  It's a shame tho... because fried food is so good, as are all the chicken recipes in this cookbook by Damon Lee Fowler.

I ended up making 2 recipes from this cookbook.  One could not have Almond chicken cutlets without having Quick Apricot Sauce to dip them into.  One just couldn't.

Good things about this recipe:   We all liked it.  It had a very Asian flair.  It was crispy on the outside, but tender and juicy on the inside and the sauce was great tasting.
Bad things about this recipe:  I made it on a work-day night and it was a bit time consuming.  Not hard to make at all, just a lot of steps and a lot of separate dishes had to be used.  I cooked it on a bit too hot heat and it looks very well done, but it really wasn't.   I would make this again, but on a weekend or a day I wasn't working.

Quick Apricot Sauce

2/3 cup apricot preserves
1 Tbs fresh grated ginger
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 clove garlic-minced
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Put everything except the sesame oil into a small non-reactive saucepan and stir until smooth.  Over low heat bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat and let the sauce come to room temp then add the sesame oil. Let stand an hour to let flavors meld.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Almond Chicken Cutlets

4 boneless chicken cutlets
1 Tbs sweet rice wine
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg--slightly beaten
3/4  cup Chinese dry bread crumbs ( I used  Panko)
3/4 cup sliced almonds
peanut oil for frying
lettuce leaves

Wash the chicken breasts and pt dry.  In a large non-reactive bowl, toss the chicken with the wine and soy sauce until the chicken is coated.  Set aside to marinate for  30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Place the flour in a  pie pan. Slightly beat the egg in a separate pie pan.  Combine the bread crumbs, sliced almonds and healthy pinch of salt in a third pie pan.
Lift the chicken cutlets out of their marinade, one at a time, letting the excess flow back into the bowl. Roll the cutlet lightly in the flour, dip it into the egg until it is coated, then roll the cutlet in the crumb mixture, patting the crumbs and almonds into all sides.  Lay the chicken on a clean plate and repeat with all the cutlets.  Set aside for 15 minutes.

Fit a wire  cooling rack on a cookie sheet and set aside.  Fill a large cast-iron skillet with enough oil to come halfway up the sides.  Over medium high heat, bring the oil to 375 degrees (hot but not smoking) Add enough cutlets to fill the pan without crowding. Fry until bottoms are golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Turn and continue frying 2-3 minutes more.  Set the cooked cutlets on the rack on cookie sheet until all are done.
Slice the cutlets crosswise on the diagonal and set on lettuce leaves.
Serve with sauce.

I am linking this post to my own Cookbook Countdown  (this will be cookbook #34)  as well as  Cookbook Sundays and Potluck Sundays.
Both great sites to visit!


bermudaonion said...

I don't fry for several reasons - it's unhealthy, it makes a mess and I think it makes the house smell. Your chicken looks delicious!!

Debbie said...

and especially if you are frying up some onions! lol

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

If we don't fry "something" down south on a pretty regular basis, they take away our license to fry and I ain't lettin' that happen LOL! ;) Seriously though, that chicken does look yummy and I'll bet that sauce was so good! Have a great week.

Brenda said...

Debbie, what an awesome cookbook! I don't think I have any like that, all for one dish, but I like the concept. You're right, your lovely chicken HAS to be dipped in the apricot sauce, I agree. Thank you for linking up to Cookbook Sundays. How many more to go? LOL!

Kate said...

I really enjoyed your post! I wouldn't have passed up the apricot sauce either!

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