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NORMAL CHEF: Citrus flavored fried chicken


So now that the new year has passed, and people everywhere are getting there lives back to normal, I would like to share with you a nice and light refreshing fried chicken recipe that I recently made. One of the first things that I want you all to try and do this year is learn to brine your meats, the day before you cook them, you will be amazed at the difference that this makes to your meats.
   
Take a ziploc bag and put the meat in there that you are going to cook, top it off with water and add 1T of kosher salt, and an acid of some kind, this will help to break down the proteins in  the meat and make for a much more tender product.
   
For this dish, I used chicken thighs, covered with water, 1 T kosher salt, the juice and zested rind of 1 whole lemon, and 1 orange as well as 2 T rice wine vinegar. 24 hours later I pulled the baggie out of the fridge drained all the liquid off, and then rinsed the meat off making sure to drain it again ( this is important to do, so please remember to drain and rinse your meat off,)
 
In a bowl I combined 2c cornstarch, the zest of half an orange, 1t paprika, 1/2t ground ginger, and 1/4 t garlic powder and mixed it up. Using cornstarch instead of flour gives you a much lighter and crispier coating as well as making it gluten free.
 
In a skillet pour enough vegetable oil to give you about 2" to fry your chicken in. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350, dredge your chicken in the cornstarch mixture and place it in the oil skin side down and fry until golden brown on the one side, and flip over and cook the second side until golden brown, this will take about 7 to 9 minutes, when done place on wire rack on a sheet pan for the oven and place into a preheated 350 oven and bake until the internal temperature reads 165, it will finish cooking as it rest.
   
I served this with a citrus favored rice:

  • 1 c rice
  • 2 c water
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • and the zest of 1 orange

Combine all ingredients in a pan and stir, bring to a boil reduce to a simmer and let it cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes and finish with 2 green onions, sliced and stirred in.

** For those of you with gluten issues this meal is gluten free, now you can use chicken stock in the rice instead of water, and if you want to maintain gluten free just check the label.

Natilie Cavnar is a cooking fanatic who loves to try new recipes, and create some of her own, ask her what you want at thenormalchef@gmail.com.

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