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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fried Chicken Tenders

If you eat meat, you like fried chicken.  It's true.  And if you comment and tell me you don't, I will just call you a liar, so don't bother.

This is an easy, quick fried chicken.  It makes little mess, since you don't need as much oil as you would if you were using bone-in chicken pieces.  My measurements are ballpark figures and can be adjusted to suit your own tastes.  I always err on the side of too much breading mix, and that is reflected here.

Meat just isn't that pretty in pictures.  But there it is, anyway.

Fried Chicken Tenders

1-2 lbs. chicken tenders, depending on how many you want to eat

Breading mix:
1 c. flour (any kind is fine)
1/2 c. bread crumbs (mine were wheat, but any kind would work, even Italian if you wanted that)
a generous shake or 5 of garlic powder
pepper to taste
a few shakes of season salt if you want

vegetable oil

In a ziploc (because we're working smart), combine the ingredients for the breading mix.  Close the bag and shake it to combine.  Open your chicken package(s) and rinse the chicken with water and just throw them in there.  Close again and shake to coat.  Let it just sit there on the counter for 5 or 10 minutes.

In a large frying pan, pour oil so that it will go about half-way up the side of your fattest piece of chicken.  That is probably only about 1/2 inch or so.  Heat your oil up on medium-high heat.  It's ready when you sprinkle some water in there and it sizzles like crazy.  This should take about 5 minutes or so, to be good and hot.  What makes for gross, greasy chicken?  Oil that isn't hot enough.

Once the oil is ready, add the chicken one piece at a time, shaking off excess breading.  Don't crowd them in the pan or they will steam instead of getting crunchy on the outside.  You might have to do two batches; you'll use the same oil.  Depending on the thickness of the chicken, it could take 3-5 minutes per side.  You can pull one out and cut it to check it.  Mine took about 3 minutes on each side for the ones that I didn't let get real crispy because I was impatient.  It was about 4 minutes for each side for the ones that were nice and brown.  It's up to you.

Since you're the cook and you cut one open to make sure it's done, you can eat that one.  Does it need salt?  If it needs it, sprinkle a little salt over the top of the plate of cooked chicken.  This is good hot, but is also good cold.  Mmmm.... If you've never had cold fried chicken, you should start.

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