Monday, August 29, 2011

Curry Buttermilk Falafel Chick'n

This recipe title sounds more like a shopping list than the name of a meal. But O! Is it good. I found the idea of using premade falafel mix as a coating for frying in a library cookbook years ago. I can't recall the name, but I remember most of the recipes were fairly involved, whereas the falafel chicken one was incredibly simple. I was tempted to try it because I wanted to taste a palatable treatment of boxed falafel mix. This incarnation of this recipe came together very last minute as a way to make a quick dinner and use some things up the the fridge/pantry, so proper techniques (as with all my recipes by me) are lacking.

In this recipe, I use the leftover curry buttermilk dressing as a base for the chicken. I guess this is ingredient elimination 2.0. Since I don't actually eat chicken, I used Quorn brand naked cutlets. If using proper chicken, which I imagine you are, sub in 4 chicken breasts, thawed.

Curry Buttermilk Falafel Chicken (serves 4, or if you inhaled it like we did, 2)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Up to 1 C curried buttermilk dressing (enough to coat the chicken)
  • 1 tsp creole mustard
  • 1 tsp capers with juice, finely chopped
  • pinch celery salt
  • pinch chili powder
  • splash lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 C premade falafel mix
  • peanut oil, for frying
1. Add the creole mustard, chopped capers, celery salt, chili powder, and lemon juice to the buttermilk dressing. 
2. Coat the chicken with the buttermilk dressing, allow to marinate at least 1 hour, overnight, if you're patient enough.
3. Pour one-and-a-half inches peanut oil in a heavy duty skillet. Heat to 350 degrees. 
4. Carefully coat the chicken in the falafel mix, very gently shaking off the excess. Fry, 2 at a time in the peanut oil, watching closely.
5. When the chicken is toasty-brown, but not burned, remove from the oil. Put on a plate with paper towels and allow to drain. Eat and enjoy!
                                                     The chick'n gets a close-up

Kitchen Notes: I am not an expert at frying, so if you have superior techniques for this recipe, by all means use them. The reason for the additional ingredients to the buttermilk dressing has nothing to do with this recipe--I was trying to make it a good sauce for a sandwich/veggie burger and then abandoned the idea. You could probably just stick to the original buttermilk dressing recipe and have great results. You can get falafel mix at most health food stores, or in the international department of the supermarket.

Verdict? Wicked good. The buttermilk dressing imparts great flavor, and keeps the chick'n moist. This product is notorious for drying out in my experience, so if this can remain succulent, I imagine that genuine chicken would be delightfully juicy. The falafel batter is crispy and light, similar to food fried in panko. The falafel mix also has more flavor than a lot of batters.

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