Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mama Stella's Fried Chicken (healthier version)

                                                  
                                                   
When I grow up, I want to be just like my mother! Thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild later, this woman still has swag. She oozes beauty ,style and sophistication and it all comes to her effortlessly. But most of all y'all, she is one hell of a cook! 

Talking to my mom on the phone today, she asked me what I was making for dinner. I told her that I had some chicken drumsticks at home, but hadn't thought about how I'd cook them. Then she suggested that I cook her fried chicken. She didn't have to twist my arm. I was sold. Her fried chicken is delicious! it's packed with flavor. It's crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. I did decide to add my own touch though. Instead of deep-frying them, I opted to oven-fry them. The verdict? Still as good as mama's, and healthier too! I think she'd be proud :-) 

SERVING SIZE: Serves 4-5

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
-Large pan.
-2 medium-sized bowls.
-1 baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
-Wooden spoon.
-Kitchen tongs.
-Flat medium plate.

INGREDIENTS:
-10 chicken pieces cleaned and dried with a paper towel (I used thighs, bone in, skin on).
-1 small onion, finely minced.
-1 teaspoon garlic paste (found in produce section of grocery store).
-1 teaspoon ginger paste (found in produce section of grocery store) .
-1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced.
-1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced.
-1 cup water.
-2 tablespoons salt (I use Kosher salt).
-1/2 a habanero pepper finely diced (seeds removed).
-1/2 teaspoon paprika.
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon .
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
-1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (found in spice aisle of grocery store).
-1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning (found in spice aisle at grocery store).
-1/4 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning (found in spice aisle at grocery store).
-1/4 teaspoon garam masala (found in international aisle at grocery store or on amazon.com).
-egg-whites of two large eggs.
-1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs (I used panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch. You can find this in the international aisle of the grocery store).

INSTRUCTIONS:
-On medium heat, bring the water and chicken to a low simmer. Add the onion, garlic paste, ginger paste, bell peppers, salt and habanero pepper. Keep heating for around 10-15 minutes until you see no pink on the chicken.
-When the water has cooked down, add the spices-paprika,cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin powder, poultry seasoning, all-purpose seasoning and garam masala. Use a wooden spoon to gently stir the chicken in the spice mixture and make sure all the pieces are well coated in the spices.


                                                  
-Use the tongs to transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and allow them to cool for 15-20 minutes.
-In one of the bowls, add the two egg-whites.
-In the other bowl, add the breadcrumbs.

***AT THIS POINT, PRE-HEAT YOUR OVEN TO 375 DEGREES F. ***

-Form an assembly line of sorts with your chicken that has by now cooled down, your egg whites, your breadcrumbs and your lined baking sheet.
-Using your tongs, pick up a piece of chicken and place it in the bowl with the egg-whites. Turn it around to make sure it is well coated. Pick it up and let any excess egg-white fall back into the bowl.

                                                     
-Next, drop the chicken piece in the breadcrumbs and roll it around. Make sure it is well coated on every side.


                                                     
-Transfer the coated chicken to the lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the pieces have been coated and placed on the baking sheet. Please leave around 1 1/2 inches of space between each chicken piece on the baking sheet to ensure that they cook evenly all around. See picture below.



                                                     
-Drizzle around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over the top of the breaded chicken.
-Transfer your baking sheet to the oven and place it on the middle rack. 
-Bake your chicken for 20-25 mins until the coating appears golden brown.
-When you remove the chicken from the oven, evenly sprinkle the top with a pinch or two of salt.
-Your chicken is now ready to serve. Who says you cant have tasty and healthy at the same time? Enjoy!