Monday, July 20, 2009
Navajo Blue Corn Fried Chicken with Ancho Honey Sauce
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you love Southwestern cooking, I suspect you're about to become a happy camper. I been working with recipes that use blue corn meal for several weeks now. There's something about its flavor and the texture it imparts to food that agrees with my palate. I found today's recipe in a book called "Cook-Off America." The dish was created by Bobby Flay for the Aspen Food and Wine Classic. The few changes I've made to the recipe appear in red. I'm sure you will want to make changes of your own, but I've learned a few things, the hard way, that I'd like to share with you. Don't stint on the amount of time the chicken marinates in buttermilk. The tenderized chicken provides a marvelous counterpoint for the crispy fried batter. I've added hot sauce to the buttermilk to add just a hint of heat to the chicken and I salted it liberally at each of the preparation stages along the way. I substituted pancake mix for the flour used to dredge the chicken. I think the pancake mix makes for a crisper coating than flour. Do make sure you serve this warm and don't forget the sauce. It is an integral part of this dish. Leftovers are just so-so, so don't make more food than you'll consume at one sitting. The chicken is not as pretty as its southern counterpart, but it is "make your socks go up and down" good. I know the fried foods are something the food police have made a crime, but I'm a firm believer in moderation. Seldom or rarely, does not mean never. Good fried chicken a couple of times a year will not kill you. I hope you'll try this.
Navajo Blue Corn Fried Chicken with Ancho Honey Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Bobby Flay
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds) cut up
3 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup hot sauce (i.e Tabasco or Texas Pete)
Peanut oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups pancake mix seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 large eggs, mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 cups blue cornmeal, seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
. Ancho-Honey Sauce
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1) For Chicken: Place chicken in a large baking dish, add buttermilk, turn to coat. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 4 but up to 24 hours. Heat 1-inch of peanut oil in a cast iron skillet to 350 degrees F. An electric frying pan can also be used. Remove chicken from buttermilk, pat dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour and pat off excess. Dip in the eggs then cornmeal. Slowly add the chicken pieces to hot pan skin-side down in batches. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium high and cook for 7 minutes, remove cover, turn the chicken over and continue to cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
2) For the Ancho Honey Sauce: Mix honey and ancho chile powder together until blended.
3) To serve: Transfer chicken to a platter. Serve warm drizzled with Ancho Honey Sauce. Yield: 4 servings.