You can take the girl away from the South…
But if you mess with her fried chicken, there’ll be HELL to pay! The only times I’ve had decent fried chicken since I first started seeing the GI doc was at a tiny GF restaurant outside Tokyo called Gluten Free Cafe Little Bird. The owner is celiac and his wife is gluten intolerant, fairly unheard of in Japan. He makes his own mix of flours for hamburger buns, gyoza (dumplings), waffles and pancakes, soba, and more. Last year, my husband and three of our four boys did the treacherous hike up Mt. Fuji, earning me blood-filled blisters, sore legs, and a huge sense of accomplishment.
I also earned every one of the calories I consumed at Little Bird the next day. (AND the next. I was hooked.) I literally cried from happiness, being able to order almost anything on the menu, except the cheese and ice cream loaded delights. The family even enjoyed every meal they ate there. I thought the fried chicken was the best. I don’t know what it is about Japanese chicken, but it really is unlike any other. Maybe it’s the 7 Spice in the flour or something. But I digress.
Tonight, I faced my fears and tried to do fried chicken myself. But I wanted a healthier option. I found this recipe from Womanista.com and tweaked it just a tad. The Bisquick breading didn’t come off, the smoky flavor of the paprika came thru beautifully and the chicken was moist and delicious!
Okinawa is known for lots of bugs and as the tree outside our kitchen window is full of ants, I keep everything in my pantry locked tight. From flours to spice and pastas, it’s in a jar or sealed container. I knew this smoked Spanish paprika I got from a lovely place in New Mexico would be perfect. Our eggs are from the local farms here. Even being from Oklahoma, I didn’t realize you could leave eggs out on the counter and that yolks from bug-fed and not strictly grain-fed chickens were nearly orange!
I first dusted the tenders with flour, then the egg dip, then covered in the batter mixture and pressed it in before lifting the tenders and gently shaking off the excess. The batter stuck to the chicken much better this way. In my batter, I also added a 1/2 cup of crumbs from some leftover GF bread I’d made last weekend. Instant GF panko!
I use unsalted Challenge Butter because the dairy cows are hormone free and grass-fed. It’s not Paleo but damn, I can’t do without my butter! A little goes a long way too. To drizzle over the battered chicken, I used a basting brush. Silpat silicone baking mats are the shizz, y’all!
Just listen to that sizzle! But they aren’t fried, just baked!
These delectable little nuggets of yum will become a regular menu item in our house. Since my husband was out tonight on business, I had to force myself to eat only my portion and not his too. Lucky bugger.
No one likes the mess leftover from making fried chicken so I simply combined the leftover egg and flour mix, added a tablespoon or two of lactose free milk and ended up with fluffy biscuits! I added them to the oven when I flipped the chicken so they cooked the right amount of time.
In the process of getting the ingredient picture, one of the eggs rolled off the bar and onto the counter, cracking it. Again, not one to waste, I just added it to Betty Crocker GF chocolate chip cookie batter for a skillet cookie! Of course, lactose free ice cream is my go-to add on.