Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cajun Cornmeal Fried Chicken -- and awards!

I don't usually fry foods at home, but I was so hungry for a chicken sandwich lately, and we haven't made it out to eat in a while because everyone in the house has been sick with something. So I recently made these fried chicken sandwiches for supper (a version of a Food Network recipe), in the hopes that they would feed my craving. These chicken filets are nice and tender, and the cornmeal makes for a bit of a lighter breading.

The sandwiches were very good, although I have to admit, I didn't notice a huge difference between these sandwiches and the oven-fried chicken sandwiches that I make. So those are a good lower-fat alternative. (Just dump some Cajun seasoning into that breading mixture.)

Because I already had some oil heated, I decided to try my hand at some last-minute homemade onion rings to go with the sandwiches. I make good onion rings (first time's a charm!). Next time I'll pay attention to what I did, because those were darn good.

And also, some awards! The first is from Geri at Heart N Soul Cooking, which is one of my new favorite blogs to read. (I love blogs where I actually want to make the food that I read about.)

I'm supposed to share seven things about myself that I haven't shared yet. Which is tough, because I share. I share a lot. But here goes:
  1. I know all the words to almost every Queen or Guess Who song that was ever released.
  2. I had long hair in high school, until it got caught in the vacuum cleaner. I haven't been able to take the risk again.
  3. When I was in elementary school and junior high, I didn't like cereal for breakfast. Instead, I'd fix myself a huge plate of spaghetti, or maybe a couple of hot roast beef sandwiches with gravy. Just to get me through 'til lunch.
  4. The hubby and I have an entire large closet packed with comic books. And between the two of us, we've read them all.
  5. I'm terrified of dolls, the circus, and anyone wearing a mask. Oh, and Tim Burton movies.
  6. I have a lot of random health issues, such as narcolepsy and hypoglycemia, and I don't lways stay conscious when I should. Also, I'm legally deaf, which most people don't realize, so they usually just think I'm either rude or not paying attention. (Although sometimes that IS the case.)
  7. I love convenience store hot dogs. Doesn't matter how long they've been sitting there. They're perfect with a side of chips and some jerky.

I would like to pass this award on to the following bloggers (and I apologize if this award is a repeat to anyone, but it's tough to keep track):

The second award is from Sophie at Sophie's Foodiefiles, a longtime favorite of mine.

(And Sophie, you might need to help me out with the translation. The Internet is being unusually unhelpful with this matter.) I'd like to pass this on to the following bloggers, who seem to teach me a lot about new foods and how to use them:

Thanks again to both Geri and Sophie!

Cajun Cornmeal Fried Chicken
Serves 4

1 1/2 c. flour, divided
1 c. yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp. Cajun spice mix
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
1/2-1 tsp. hot sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 to 1/2 c. oil, for frying

1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk 1/2 c. flour with the cornmeal, Cajun spice, and salt. Place in a shallow dish. Put the remaining 1 c. flour and buttermilk each in a shallow dish. Season the buttermilk with hot sauce, to taste.

3. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound out the chicken breasts to uniform thickness. (I actually just cut mine in half because it was nap time.) Pat the chicken breasts dry and season with salt.

4. Lightly coat each piece of chicken in flour and shake off any excess. Dip them in the buttermilk, and then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture. Shake off any excess coating.

5. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with about 1/2" of oil. Add the chicken and cook, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

6. Place the chicken on a rack over a baking pan and bake until firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste, and serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

Both the chicken and onion rings look delicious. For someone who never expressed much interest in cleaning and cooking while growing up - you do an amazing job at both. So proud of you! Mom

Karen said...

Thanks for the award! :) This chicken looks good.. I'll have to try it. My favorite breading for almost anything is a mixture of flour, cornmeal and breadcrumbs. I usually end up pan-frying after the coating, but will try baking them next time!

Muneeba said...

Thks for sharing some of the details abt your life ... it's not easy for me to open up either, so I understand it takes guts! Btw, the chicken looks sooooooooooo tempting .. wish that's what I was having for dinner tonight!

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Congrats on your awards! enjoy them!

Your cajun cornmeal chicken I made yesterday & it was truly tasty!

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,...It was fun learning more about you! My husband also loves comic books!