KFC’ish . . .

September 14, 2009 · Posted in Cooking 

Here’s how it starts.

theWife: What do you fancy for dinner?
me: (shrug) dunno, what do you fancy?
theWife: don’t know . . . something chickeny, with lots of vegetables!.

And with that my brain starts ticking, my taste-buds start tingling and I know we’re in trouble.

That was a  conversation we had at about 7 o’clock yesterday and after a quick mooch through the kitchen cupboards I hopped into the car and drove down to Sainsbury’s. On the way down there I was thinking about making some sort of stuffed chicken breast but quickly decided that that would take a bit longer to knock up than we had without eating at midnight.  I could just buy some chicken kievs but a) that’s cheating and b) I’m on a diet

The stuffed thought stuck with me and, upon walking into the store I saw some nice looking large sweet peppers . . . a couple of those stuffed with a herb Ricotta cheese mix would be very nice and tick all the boxes (veg, diet, tasty).  I picked a couple of other bits of veg, fine beans and a leek while deciding that I could part-boil some of the slightly tired potatoes we had at home before slicing and quickly dry-frying the to make some healthy chips.

That still left me with a decision as to what I should do chicken-wise. In our local Sainsbury’s just after the veg is the start of the deli counter, and first up is all the hot foods.  Whole roast chickens, bbq ribs and the like. Also in there sometimes, but not today, are Southern Fried Chicken pieces . . . basically KFC.  Now there’s no way I could take a KFC or anything like it home (we only eat that after we’ve drunk far too much) but maybe I could knock up something similar but healthy. I collected a pack of chicken breasts and headed home.

After deciding that Cous-cous would be better than some fake chips I sorted the veg (fine beans, leek and cauliflower), mixed the ricotta with some herbs (Oregano and Basil) and stuffed it into the seeded peppers I got two bowls ready and wondered what I was going to do with the chicken.

I grabbed out meat tenderiser and hammered a couple of the chicken breasts to a nice even thickness, a little under a centimeter so that they’d cook fully and evenly.  I cracked an egg into one bowl and added salt, pepper, some Tabasco sauce and Lea & Perrins, whisked it all together and dropped the now flat chicken in to soak. In the second bowl I first added a packet of buffalo wing mix (I brought this in America last years and it’s really not very good) to act as a base.  To that I added Cumin, Paprika, salt and pepper, one oxo cube and a couple of handfulls of breadcrumbs.

Next I took the chicken, piece by piece, from the egg and covered it in the spicy breadcrumb mix making sure it was totally covered and put it into a medium heat frying pan that had a little butter (ok, margarine) in flipping it a couple of times until they were golden brown (around 10 minutes).

No books, no recipes, (and no photo’s because I hadn’t thought of blogging about cooking at that point) just an idea or two about what I wanted to do an no fear of making a mistake (I actually threw the first batch of spicy breadcrumb mix away because it just wasn’t right). Cooking like this won’t always work, and the really maddening thing is that sometimes, when it does, you can’t actually remember what you did but I find playing with cooking is just damn good fun 🙂

PS. the chicken was bloody nice (even theWife said so) and next time I’m going to try and figure out what was in that buffalo wing mix and do it fully from scratch (although looking at the packet it’s basically a bunch of e-numbers and paprkia)


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