Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rocco DiSpirito's Flash-Fried Chicken Nuggets

Rocco DiSpirito's Flash-Fried Chicken Nuggets
An updated version of celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito’s flash-fried chicken makes for a healthier
alternative to traditional fried chicken. Cooking the chicken in the microwave and flash frying it
ensures not only a quick prep time, but a low-fat fried chicken dinner.
Fat Grams 13.85, Calories 279 Serves 4
Ingredients:
• 1 small red onion, sliced in half then thinly sliced
• 5 whole, ripe fresh limes, 1 cut into 4 wedges
• 2 qts. grapeseed or corn oil
• 16 oz. chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
• 3 1/4 tbsp. adobo powder, Goya or similar
• 2 egg whites
• 2 1/2 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
• 1/4 cup fine ground yellow cornmeal
• 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
• 16 cherry tomatoes, stems removed and washed
• 1/2 ripe hass avocado, peeled and cut into 8 chunks
• 1 bunch cilantro
• 1 spicy red or green jalapeno, sliced as thin as possible
Directions
1. Place the sliced red onions in a small stainless steel bowl. With a fine grater or zester, zest the
skin of one lime over the onions. Cut the four whole limes in half cross-wise and squeeze all the
juice over the onions. Add a tiny pinch of salt and mix. Make sure all the onions are completely
covered by the lime juice. You may use the squeezed limes as a weight to push down any onions
sticking out of the juice. The onions will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator in a container with
a tight fitting lid.
2. Pour the oil into a large, heavy pot with least a 6 quart capacity. Heat the oil over mediumhigh
heat on the stove to 400 F. Meanwhile, place a chicken thigh on the cutting board and cut
into 4 to 5 even-sized, chunky pieces and repeat until all thighs are done. Lay out all chicken
chunks on a microwave safe plate and season both sides with 1/4 tablespoon of adobo powder
and as salt and pepper. Place the plate in the microwave and cook on high for 1 minute and 30
seconds. Remove the plate and turn each piece of chicken over and microwave again on high
until the chunks are just cooked through, about another 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes,
depending on your microwave. Let the chicken cool to room temperature.
3. While the chicken cooks in the microwave, place the egg whites into a bowl and beat with a
fork until very foamy, about 2 minutes. In a separate wide and shallow bowl or cake pan, mix
the remaining 3 tablespoons of adobo powder and paprika with the cornmeal and whole wheat
flour. Submerge the cooked chicken pieces in the egg whites and toss to coat well with a fork.
Move the chicken to the shallow bowl containing the seasoned whole wheat flour and cornmeal
mix. Toss the chicken to coat well, spread out in one layer over the flour mix and let sit as you
assemble the salad.
4. Wash and dry your hands of thoroughly then assemble the salad by placing the shredded
iceberg lettuce in a bowl then add the cherry tomatoes. Drain the lime juice from the onions and
reserve the left over lime juice. Next, add the onions to the salad with a dash of salt and 2
tablespoons of the reserved lime juice then toss to dress evenly. On four serving plates, heap the
salad in the middle of each plate and place the avocado slices equally over each of the salads.
5. In four separate even-sized batches, fry the chicken for 12 seconds per batch then remove the
chicken from the oil to a plate with either a wire rack on top or paper towels to drain off any
excess oil. Turn the stove off immediately under the hot oil after your last batch. Arrange the
cooked chicken evenly around the salad of each of the four plates and lay four cilantro sprigs
over each salad. Serve with lime wedges and sliced jalapeno.
Tips:
• Cook the limes in the microwave on high for 15 seconds before you cut and squeeze them. This
helps get every last bit of precious juice out of each lime!
• Make sure your oil thermometer is used exactly as directed per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Carefully monitor the temperature of the oil every 5 minutes so it does not exceed 400 F.
• When cooking the chicken in the microwave, keep in mind the chicken chunks on the outside
will cook faster then the chicken in the middle of the plate, so after you flip them over from first
cooking stage, it is important to rotate the pieces from the outside of the plate to the middle of
the plate before you continue to microwave them.
• It is important not to toss the ripe avocado with the other ingredients as it would destroy a
shape and size of a ripe avocado.
• Let the oil cool on the stove until it is room temperature then using a funnel, pour the oil back
into its original container and place screw the cap back on for easy disposal.
Source: Rocco DiSpirito www.noweatthis.com

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