Monday, July 13, 2009

Colonel Who? Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

The great tragedy of developing food allergies and intolerances in your adulthood is that you know exactly what you are missing every time you drive by all your old favorite fast food joints. I've heard it a million times, from all sorts of people, how lucky I am to be forced to avoid all those trans fats, calories, and general junk foods. While I'm sure my arteries appreciate it, my hormonal cravings do not!

Ladies, you know of what I speak. At any random time, day or night, a hormone surges and a craving for something really terrible and exquisitely delicious hits. You must have it. Right now. Whoever said intense cravings only hit the pregnant ladies, hasn't spent a lot of time living with women. Add to the hormone surge cravings a denial of all things wheat, and my tragedy deepens.

For me, it is super bad when I get a craving for KFC, especially now that I live in the South. It's intense, and it's almost made me cheat countless times. I have to talk myself down from the proverbial ledge, in great detail, with all the reasons why the Colonel is now my enemy. I've threatened hubby numerous times if he ever cheats on me with the Colonel. I can't have it my house, or my car. I can't watch someone else eat it. And I especially can't drive by one without my Pavlovian reflexes torturing me with mouth watering memories of that original recipe; fatty, delicious, greasy, wonderful fried chicken. It haunts me.

The torture of living without Colonel Sanders has caused a two-year quest to figure out how to duplicate that chicken. Ladies and gentleman, I think I've got it! It's not exact, but it's so very, very close that you will enjoy this chicken almost as thoroughly as the Colonel's chicken. Even my gluten-free scaredy-cat husband, gave it two thumbs up. Repeatedly. You too, can eat this wonderful, glorious, tasty, crispy, fried chicken.

And here's how...

1 pint buttermilk or coconut milk
1 heaping tsp. Better Than Bouillon chicken base
1/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
3 large boneless chicken breasts, or various pieces of boned chicken

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 TBSP Hungarian Paprika
1-2 tsp. Italian herbs (I use Penzeys)
2 tsp. dried chervil (do not skip this herb)
1 tsp. ground sea salt
1 tsp. tarragon
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

3 cups vegetable oil

If using boneless chicken breast, cut each breast into 3-5 generous chicken strips and beat with meat hammer or fists to tenderize. In a small container, mix a little bit of buttermilk, chicken bouillon, and hot sauce. In a large casserole dish or pan, whisk the remaining buttermilk with the hot sauce and bouillon mixture. Coat each piece of chicken well, and leave in the dish to marinate. Cover and put in the fridge for 1-24 hours.

Pre-heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or deep fryer to 350F (med-high heat). In a separate bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients and whisk until well mixed. Pour seasoning mixture into a large Ziploc or paper bag. Place the marinated chicken into the bag, close, and shake thoroughly until each piece is completely coated in the seasoning mixture. Fry chicken in hot oil for 4-5 minutes (it is advisable to test one piece of chicken first to ensure it is thoroughly cooked to the center without burning the outside; please note that chicken with bones cooks faster). Use tongs to remove chicken and place on a large platter covered in paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Serve hot immediately, and save the leftovers for cold chicken out of the fridge (if any lasts that long).


Heather said...

ok Woman, YOU are amazing.

P.S. Who knew that leaving yeast out of GF bread would make it taste like a sponge. hahahaha. Parker doesn't seem to mind though so thank you thank you for the $40 worth of bread. :)

Karen B said...

Is Dad allowed to eat it or will he lose his colonel status for cheating on Sanders?

Ali-kat said...

He can, and he won't lose his rank as General Clean-up.

chunkymonkey said...

Yay! Ya-hoo! The KFC is not my favorite, but I do love the rootbeer freezes at the KFC/A&W Combo we have near the church. A lot. And to not have those in my life would be tragedy, so I can imagine a little. I fully admire your perserverence! And I am trying to call you back--finding a time that wouldn't be too late or too early when my kids aren't crabby has been difficult.