Sunday, December 19, 2010

Egyptian Discoveries: the best chicken fingers ever!

The pyramids were awesome. But one of my other favorite discoveries in my recent trip to Egypt has completely revamped an old classic for me: the chicken finger. I've made these hundreds of times, always with the same straightforward technique - dip chicken finger in beaten egg mix, dip into bread crumbs, pan fry. I've eaten them even more times (Howlers in college, anyone?!), but they can be difficult - often the frying makes them dry out inside. How I've been missing out!

I was lucky enough to have a few delicious traditional Egyptian meals at my friend's home (a few of which I am hoping to try out in the near future), one of which included fried chicken fingers. This was easily the best chicken I've ever tasted. I was seriously tempted to devour the entire platter. Luckily, my manners restrained me, and instead I asked my friend Jacinthe what made them so delicious, moist, and succulent. She let me in on a little secret - yogurt! Marinading them in yogurt makes them hold in the moisture, and also takes away that raw chicken smell. When I got back yesterday, even though I was exhausted, I decided to try my hand at this chicken. Here's what I did, modeled on her example:

Chicken Fingers

What you need:
1 lb chicken fingers
2 cups plain or Greek yogurt
1 tsp herbs de Provence, or dried oregano, or any other green herb you like
2 eggs, beaten (I used just the yolks this time because I was saving the whites for a macaron batch, but either is fine)
salt and pepper
3 tbl olive oil

1. If you like your chicken thin, tenderize with a meat hammer or rolling pin.
2. Combine yogurt, herbs, eggs, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
3. Add chicken and stir into marinade. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes at least.
4. Coat the chicken with bread crumbs.
5. Pan fry in olive oil.
6. Enjoy. Divine. Thank you, Jacinthe, for saving the chicken finger!

It was great to bring a bit of Egypt into my Paris apartment as the snow swirled around outside!

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