Friday, 8 January 2016

Gluten-Free Pan-Fried Chicken Fingers

Well, these are your pretty basic chicken fingers, although I like the combination of quinoa flour and chick pea flour as being a little different from the usual. It makes the coating more robust, and also gluten-free, which may or may not be handy. I have to admit my use of these flours is because they have been sitting in the cupboard for a while and I thought they had better be eaten. They gave the coating a rich, nutty flavour that we enjoyed.

In spite of all the fiddling around, this does not really take much longer than just slapping your chicken breasts in a pan and cooking them, because they cook so quickly when cut in fingers.

4 servings
20 minutes prep time

Gluten-Free Pan-Fried Chicken Fingers

2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts (600 grams; 1 1/4 pounds)
1/3 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup chick pea flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed savory
1/2 cup mild vegetable oil to fry

Lay a chicken breast out flat on the cutting board, and cut it into 1/2" wide strips. The longest bits from the middle should be cut across in half to make 2 pieces. Put them in a small bowl with the buttermilk and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and let marinate for up to several hours in the fridge.

You can continue right away though. Break the eggs into a deep plate or shallow bowl, and whisk them well. Mix the flour and seasonings in a similar plate or bowl. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

As it heats, lift the pieces of chicken out of the buttermilk, a few at a time, and dip them first in the egg and then in the flour. Repeat dipping them in the egg again, and the flour a second time, then place them in the now-hot oil in the skillet. Continue with the remaining chicken until it is all in the skillet. Keep an eye on the cooking chicken pieces while you are coating the remaining ones - they cook very quickly and will need to be turned after just a few minutes. The coating should be a nice dark (but not too dark!) brown. Remove the finished chicken fingers as they are done to a platter or - better - a wire rack lined with paper towel. In theory you can keep them warm in a 200°F oven as you work, but they cook so quickly it does not seem worth the trouble to me.

Last year at this time I made Beet & Potato Salad.

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