I was born to fry.
This one is for the biscuit soppers out there. Those of you that drench your fried chicken in honey, and sop up the excess with a biscuit. You eat those few bites in silence. Maybe your eyes are closed and you don’t even realize it. The good stuff in life happens when your mouth is full. I’m so with you.
I wish I could say I invented graham cracker fried chicken, but all the glory goes to chef Michael Romano. My recipe isn’t anywhere close to his, but entirely inspired by him. He cuts the graham cracker crumbs with panko in his recipe. I like the sweet fried chicken thing (did you catch my Sweet Tea Fried Chicken?), and so I used all graham cracker crumbs. I was not disappointed.
The honey drizzle on top, oh my lands, don’t skip it.
This is my farewell meal. I’m on my way back to California for a week vacation from my kitchen. I’m in the trenches of the book-writing process, and I need a break. It’s not that I won’t keep working on it every single day that I’m gone, but I need a break from the constant dishes, the incessant beeping of the oven timer that I’ve started to curse at, and the crumbs that are always underfoot no matter how many times I mop. I need a change-of-scenery vacation. Do you ever take those? Sometimes it’s as simple as working outside, or trying out a new coffee shop for an alternate view. I highly recommend switching up your scenery to help with creative flow issues.
I know this meal is
slightly gluttonous, but I can assure you that there will be nothing but salads and gluten-free fare on my trip. Not by choice; I love the gluten. But, I happen to be making the wedding cake for two sweet gluten-free friends this week, and I harbor guilt eating gluten in front of those who cannot. So, I ate my fried chicken as a farewell meal today. Goodbye wheat flour, I’ll be thinking of you often. I promise to hold hot, little baguettes in my hands as soon as I get back. And I promise to smash more graham crackers to bits and fry chicken in it again, because that was delicious.
If you are a reader who’s asked me to make a wedding cake and I declined…please, do not be offended! I only make wedding cakes for very close personal friends. My friends are the type of people that would only laugh if their wedding cake turned out lop-sided. I make delicious food, not beautiful food. I can’t handle the pressure of making a wedding cake for anyone that I haven’t shared countless bottles of wine with. The truth of the matter is, you never know what is going to set off Bridezilla. Even the most chill chick could morph at any time. I know my friends aren’t capable of this behavior, but strangers? Not so sure. Maybe one day I will provide this service, but not at this time. Thanks for understanding. I will definitely post photos of the finished wedding cake on my Instagram, so follow along there :)
- 2 cups of fry oil (I use peanut oil)
- 5 graham cracker sheets
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- honey, for drizzling
- In an 8-cup saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. The oil is ready to fry when you drop in a few pieces of graham cracker crumbs, and it immediately starts to sizzle and floats to the surface. If it turns black, it's too hot. Let it cool before proceeding.
- First, crush the graham crackers in a food processor or plastic bag with a rolling pin. Add the smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt to the graham cracker crumbs, and stir to combine.
- Beat the egg in a shallow bowl, and have ready on the side.
- Next, bread the chicken: first dip it in the egg, let the excess drip off, and then roll it in the graham cracker crumbs. Repeat for all chicken fingers.
- Add only two or three chicken fingers to the hot oil at a time, and fry until golden brown and 165-degrees internally. It should take about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with all of the chicken tenders. You can keep them warm in a 200-degree oven while the rest finish cooking. Always test the internal temperature of chicken before serving.
- Drizzle with honey and serve.