With Fat Tuesday coming up on February 13 and the Super Bowl even sooner, I thought I'd post a fantastic chicken recipe you can make by the boatload for all those people coming over to watch the big game.
When Paul and I moved to Rhode Island in 1990 to start working here at 94HJY, I had yearly Mardi Gras parties at my house, and I cooked massive batches of these Cajun chicken breasts, using a spice mix I developed from many cooking experiments from my Southern days.
Double-dipping in the seasoned flour is a messy step, but it makes them extra crunchy and flavorful.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon gumbo file (file powder), optional
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts
oil for frying (I like using avocado oil and some pork fat for flavor)
Like it hot? add more pepper!
Cut the chicken breasts into manageable pieces. If they're thick, slice them horizontally to make two thinner breasts. A thick piece of chicken won't cook all the way through.
Combine the flour, salt, paprika, onion, garlic, basil, white pepper, cayenne, black pepper, thyme and gumbo file in a bowl. Mix well.
I like to separate the 4 eggs, placing 2 eggs in 2 separate bowls. This keeps the first bowl "clean" and not gummed up with flour. You'll see what I mean once you start, because it's a bit messy. So, crack 2 eggs in the first bowl and the other 2 eggs in the second bowl. Scramble them up and put the bowls on either side of the seasoned flour bowl.
Pre-heat a pan of oil to 350 degrees.
Dip the chicken in the first egg bowl and then the seasoned flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and dip the chicken in the second egg bowl, making sure the flour is covered by egg. Then dip the chicken back into the flour for a second coat. Carefully place the chicken in the pan. Fry the chicken until it's cooked all the way through and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
If you need to feed a crowd, just double or triple the recipe. I used to make a 10x batch for my famous Mardi Gras parties!