Lock. It. Down.
I don't want to exaggerate anything, but oh my god I completely love Jamie Oliver. The man is amazing and seems like the sweetest guy. I will genuinely be crushed if there is any scandal about him - but I will still love his food. (also, there will never be any scandal, he is a peach). If I could meet any one chef, I'd want to meet him. Of course, if I could meet any handful of chefs, that'd be even better.
Basically, as much as I detest Bobby Flay, King of Tools, I love Jamie Oliver. That, my friends, is saying something as I have broken into the conversations of strangers when Flay is mentioned.
In Jamie's Food Revolution there is a recipe for Crunchy Garlic Chicken. I can not sing the praises of this recipe enough, seriously, I died. DIED. Then came back to eat more because this is so amazing. If you aren't new to the blog, then you'll know about my quest for the perfect chicken strips. I've found them in panko, yes, but this might actually blow that out of the water. At the first go, I'm going to go ahead and say that - yes, once again - this is a Lock It Down recipe. I made a few minor changes to the original recipe, but essentially let it be.
I suggest serving this with a salad or some simple veggies, but if you'd like to go for full-blown comfort then try some mashed potatoes (to make it healthier, make it a mashed cauliflower or cauliflower-potato blend). Jamie suggests using a cream cracker, such as Jacob's, but my Jewel doesn't carry them and I didn't really feel like hunting them down. Anyway, he'd said the same thing for the meatballs, and saltines were pretty much the bomb in that.
Without further ado...
Crunchy Garlic Chicken
- two cloves of garlic
- seven to eight saltines
- two TBS butter
- a few shakes of parsley (or four fresh sprigs)
- salt and pepper
- two TBS flour
- one egg
- two boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- olive oil
- the zest of one lemon OR Garlic-Lemon Trinidad Seasoning
- OPTIONAL -Orange-Pepper (a fantastic change from lemon pepper, if you use this nix on the black pepper above)
WHAT TO DO
Peel the garlic and zest the lemon. If you have a food processor, zoom the crackers with the butter, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and salt/pepper. You'll want to make the mixture very fine, then pour the crumbs on a plate. If you do NOT have a food processor (clearly, I do not) then mince the garlic very, very finely. Bash the crackers up and mix with the parsley, lemon zest, pepper, garlic, and salt. The butter should be softened and then stir it in with crumb mixture. Put that on a plate.
Sprinkle the flour onto a second plate. Be thankful that you have so many saucers in your ramshackle apartment.
Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork.
Cut the fatty bits out of the chicken. If you want more of a strip type of thing, cut them into strips. I cut my chicken breasts in half to make them thin, then lightly score the bottom of the chicken breasts. Smack them with a pan a few times (in plastic wrap, of course) to flatten them out a bit - unless, of course, you already cut them in half because it's a little late and maybe you don't want to whack things.
Dip the chicken in the flour, getting it totally coated, then dip it into the egg, then coat with the flavored crumbs. Pat the crumbs onto the chicken so it sticks.
sizzle sizzle sizzle
"Oh, that delicious smell? It's nothing...but awesomeness."
I fried mine in some olive oil for about five minutes on each side, until cooked through and delightfully golden and crisp. You can also bake them, however. Preheat your oven until it is hot as blazes (475 F yikes!) and put your chicken on a cookie sheet and bake for about fifteen minutes.
Now. You can serve them whole as they are, cut them up into strips or bits or whatever you like. Squeeze a bit of lemon on them if you'd like. Serve with the sides of your choosing. Swoon.
Poor picture, unbelievable food.
The only flaw in this is keeping the breading crisp for the next day, I chucked some in a plastic container and it didn't really keep up. It was still delicious, though. Really, I think this is much more meant to be eaten the night of, which will be fantastically easy as this stuff is killer.