When you’re talking about healthy food, the word “fried” immediately turns people’s noses up.
Well, it shouldn’t.
Frying food can be healthy! Yeah, that’s right. I said it! Fried food won’t kill you. It’s all in the execution.
The reason it can be quite unhealthy is that people often do it wrong. Cooking at a low temperature or overcrowding the pan means that the intrinsic aspect of frying food is lost. Done right, even deep frying can be healthy…ish.
The key is high temperature. Very high temperature.
What you want to happen, when frying, is for the heat to immediately seal the outside of whatever you’re cooking. If you chuck in your meat when the oil is just warming up, it will soak up that grease and it will permeate into the meat. If you let the oil get to a decent temperature, then drop it like it is actually hot, you can have crispy, delicious, healthy wonderfulness.
Another way is what I’m going to show you. And that is 2 part cooking.
Leaving the meat, or whatever, in the pan to cook through means that it is swimming in oil for the entire duration. Once you’ve seared the outside, you just need heat to cook the middle. So, why not roast/bake it?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you can have healthy, fried chicken.
The gluten free part was, this time, a conscious decision on my part. I did consider using normal flour for the breading but I wanted something a little different. This is a food blog, after all. There should be a certain degree of excitement. For me, at least.
So I opted for coconut flour. Let me just say, well done me. It was an inspired choice. The coconut layer gave the chicken a tropical taste which made it perfect for my stir fry.
Enough about how awesome I am, let’s get cooking!
Drop of milk
Pinch of Cinnamon
Dried Chilli Flakes
You are going to need 3 bowls for this:
- Coconut flour, pepper, paprika and cinnamon
- Eggs and milk, whisked thoroughly
- Polenta, chilli flakes, salt. Mixed all on up
Use some kitchen roll to remove as much moisture from the outside of the chicken as you can, then it’s a simple 3 part technique.
Step 1: Coconut flour, dredge that bad boy and then give it a tap to get the excess off
Step 2: Eggs, just dip it in. Make sure it’s covered
Step 3: Polenta. Every inch needs to be covered
That’s it, that’s how you coat chicken.
Now, the cooking.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C
You want a thin film of oil in your pan. Dry spots? We don’t play that. We want every part of that chicken touching the oil.
The oil needs to be HOT!! The way to test this, without a thermometer, is with the classic wooden spoon.
After heating up your oil, dip a wooden spoon handle into it. If the oil starts to bubble around the wood, you’re in it to win it.
Carefully, put the chicken in the pan. Remember kids, always lay away from you. Prevents splashback and stuff.
It should sound violent right about now, all bubbling and hissing and what not.
It only takes about 5 minutes per side to get a good crisp (what we’re looking for).
Once the chicken is crispy on the outside, put it on some kitchen roll to get rid of excess grease. We’re being healthy, remember?
Lightly oil a baking tray, put your chicken on it and away we go.
It should take about 18-20 minutes to cook all the way through at this temperature. After this time, feel free to take a sharp knife (so you don’t hack off half the coating) and slice through the thickest part to make sure it’s not pink (‘less the spirit of Gordon Ramsey should descend from the rafters screaming “It’s RAW!! You’ll kill someone!!!)
Done and done.