I went through a bit of a recipe slump recently where I’d think of recipes, write up the ingredients I thought I’d need and their approximate amounts, and then minutes before going to the grocery store, I’d completely change my mind and decide that I didn’t want to make those dishes anymore. And then I’d do it all over again. And again. And again. Call me “Captain Indecisive”.
(“Captain Morgan” was already taken, you know.)
So eventually I decided to try writing out lists of my favorite ingredients, textures, and flavors, and then matching them together to make something that would absolutely amp up my appetite. The first combination to jump out to me? Spicy Garlic Crunch Chicken, of course.
Sure, it started out as just a bunch of words thrown together, but what the recipe wound up being was double-coated, crunchy chicken breasts, dipped in an ultra-garlicky, spicy sauce, which tastes just as great as it sounds.
In order to get that crunchy coating, I dredge the chicken breasts in egg wash and a seasoned flour mixture and then pan-fry them, allowing the exterior to crisp up more than it’d be able to in an oven. Now, sometimes it can be a bit hard to pan-fry chicken breasts as the exterior tends to brown before the very centers of the chicken can cook through. And, well, I have a bit of a thing about Salmonella– specifically, that I try to avoid it at all costs– so undercooked chicken is not an option I’m willing to gamble on. No way.
Thankfully, pounding out the chicken breasts thins them so that they cook through quicker, so I can pan-fry my way to a crunchy crust without worry. As a bonus, pounding out the chicken and cooking it quicker over higher heat results in juicier, more tender chicken breasts.
While the chicken cools on a rack (and drips off any excess, unwanted oil), I make the sauce, which is a simple mixture of garlic, hot sauce, butter, sugar, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. I chop up quite a bit of garlic to throw in there– the garlickier, the better, right? Just don’t go around breathing on people after you eat these.
You know what these remind me of? Sometimes, when I go out for wings, I have a mini internal dilemma over whether I want to go with tradition and get regular buffalo, or switch things up and get the garlic sauce. This is like the entree answer to that problem: WHY NOT BOTH? And I can have it at my own dinner table.
Not to mention, it tastes great with a heaping side of Loaded Mashed Cauliflower.
Adapted from Rock Recipes
For the chicken:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Oil, to fry
For the sauce:
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 tablespoons butter
- Chives, chopped, to garnish
- Place the chicken breasts between pieces of plastic wrap and pound out to an even thickness. Set aside.
- In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together the flour, paprika, salt, oregano, and peppers. In a separate shallow bowl, beat the eggs with 1/2 cup milk.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-walled pan over medium-high heat.
- Dip the chicken breasts into the flour mixture, turning and patting to coat well, then transfer to the egg wash. Then, dip the chicken once more in the flour mixture, Set aside, and continue until all of the chicken breasts have been coated.
- Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium and add in 2 of the chicken breasts. Fry for 5 minutes per side, or until the coating is brown and crunchy and the chicken is cooked through. Carefully transfer the cooked chicken to the rack to cool and dab off excess oil from the top with a paper towel.
- In a separate small pot, combine the first 5 sauce ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and mix in the butter. Let simmer for 3 minutes, and then let it cool. Pour the sauce into a shallow, wide dish. Dip the chicken into the sauce, and place it back on the rack. Spoon the chopped garlic from the sauce over the top of the chicken, and top with chopped chives. Serve warm.