We spent last weekend in Connecticut with family- who also happen to be friends. An amazing and awesome coincidence !! Lucky us- they also happen to love food and wine. Umm… Wait- maybe that IS the reason they are friends!
The conversation came around to a favorite of mine…food and wine and…. fried chicken. And suddenly I had a craving. One that didn’t go away.
So, the next day, when I saw this recipe for fried chicken tenders with mango slaw I knew I had to try it. I will be making this in the future for my fellow foodie and wino, Mary.
Normally I am a purist when it comes to fried chicken. Fried chicken. Biscuits. Just regular, down home fare. But something about this recipe called to me.
Here is what you need:
1/2 cup diced mango
2 large jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 small shallot minced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
7 cups shredded coleslaw mix ( 1 entire bag )
3 cups cornflakes
6 tablespoons slivered almonds
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
all purpose flour for dredging
six 5 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, sliced lengthwise 1 inch thick
vegetable oil for frying
6 10 inch flour tortillas, warmed
In a saucepan, combine the mango, jalapenos, vinegar, sugar, water and shallot.
Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until mango is softened.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree. Scrape into a large bowl.
Stir in the mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic and lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
Add the coleslaw mix and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate.
Next came the chicken.
Wipe out the food processor and add the cornflakes, almonds, sesame seeds, sugar, red pepper and salt.
Pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
In a second bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Fill a third bowl with flour.
Dredge the chicken strips in the flour. Dip them in the eggs and then roll them in the cornflake mixture. You know the drill.
Set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil.
Working in batches, fry the chicken over moderate heat, turning once, until golden brown, about six minutes.
Transfer to rack.
Set the fried chicken on the tortillas and top with the mango slaw. Roll and eat.
Now truthfully, I made these ahead of time. I planned on serving them for dinner and I didn’t want to be prepping and cooking and frying. I wanted to enjoy the company.
But, I couldn’t resist a little taste for myself. Immediately after cooking.
Best. Fried. Chicken. Ever.
Oh my! Did you ever eat something and all the while you were eating it you just kept making these sounds and noises that were completely out of your control. Oh, that is exactly what happened to me when I ate this chicken.
The magic of the funky sweetness of the slaw and the spicy, crunchy, sweet heat of the chicken combined in a perfect pairing and simply made this the best fried chicken ever.
I couldn’t wait to get George’s reaction. Normally a man of few words when it comes to food, he practically waxed poetic about these fried chicken roll ups. He too proclaimed them the best fried chicken ever. And then he actually told me never to make any other kind of chicken. Wow. Double wow.
We couldn’t get enough of these. We were supposed to have someone over for dinner. Lucky for us they never showed and we could devour these fried chicken tenders all by ourselves. Sorry Brittany! Greedy fried chicken eaters that we are, we didn’t stop until they were all gone..
I followed the recommendation at the bottom of the recipe that we drink a full bodied, fruity Chardonnay with this.
We drank this MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011. Priced at just under $20.00
Elegant and full bodied with crisp apple and ripe pear, this wine is dry with a great long, smooth finish. And on the finish there was lime, mango, lemon and pineapple. A real fruit explosion. Delicious. Loved the wine, not sure however, that it was the best pairing.
Next time I might try this dish with a Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or a Prosecco Rose.
Anyway, this is a simple recipe to make and one you will add to your roster of great dishes. And the slaw would also be fantastic atop a tuna burger or a regular burger. Or just as a side with… use your imagination!
Thanks to Food and Wine for sharing Jeff Blank and Executive Chef Robert Rhoades recipe for Hot and Crunchy Chicken Cones. www.mightycone.com