Friday, August 13, 2010

Chicken & Chips

When I was in law school, I did a summer study abroad program in London. I think I survived almost entirely on chicken & chips and sandwiches from Pret-a-Manger. Basically, chicken & chips is the English version of chicken tenders and fries, but with a subtly-flavored, airy, crunchy breading. The secret to a great breading is to use beer as your liquid. If you don't, your breading will take on an entirely different texture. If you've never had chicken & chips before, I urge you to try this recipe straight away. And if you have had them, this recipe is sure to cure any craving you're having.

Chicken & Chips
Recipe by Ann Burrell, adapted
Serves 2-4
Prep Time - 20 min
Cook Time - 20 min

3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch wide sticks
1-2 lbs chicken tenders, or chicken breasts cut into wide strips
2 cups flour
2 tsp Old Bay seafood seasoning
1 tsp baking soda
Kosher salt
1 bottle cold beer

Heat the oil to 325 degrees F in a large deep, pot over medium heat. Regulate the temperature with a candy thermometer. (We used our deep fryer for this so there was no need for the thermometer). Keep the potato sticks in a bowl of water to prevent browning before frying. Remove to paper towels and dry well before placing in oil. (Drying is critical to help get the perfect texture). Fry the potatoes until they are cooked through and tender but have no color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Be sure the fries have plenty of room and gently swish them around as they are cooking, so do this in batches, if necessary. Remove them from the oil and put them immediately on a paper towel lined baking sheet to absorb any excess grease.

Raise the temperature of your oil to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, seafood seasoning, baking soda and pinch of salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gently stir in the cold beer. Mix until just combined.

Dip the chicken tenders in the batter mixture and coat generously. When adding the chicken to the oil, dip about 1/3 to 1/2 of the tender into the oil and swoosh it around for a second to allow the batter to start puffing and then gently slide it into the oil all the way.

Fry the chicken until they are golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes turning the chicken over during the cooking time. Again, do this in batches if necessary to prevent over-crowding.

When the chicken is done, remove from the oil and put immediately on paper towels to blot the excess oil.

Working in batches, fry the fries a second time at 375 degrees F, until they are golden brown and crispy, a couple minutes. Remove them from the oil, immediately put them on paper towels and toss with kosher salt. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve with the fries.


Joanne said...

Good call on the beer! I'm pretty sure everything tastes better with it...

jenn said...

These look great. I make these about once a month and deep fry them, my whole family loves it!

I've never added the Old Bay seasoning though, next time I will!