What makes this recipe Mexican? That’s the first question we got whenever we told people about our latest Sunday Dinner at the My Foodie Duty Test Kitchen. Our guess, the chili powder, and lime. Whatever the reason this recipe was last week’s lucky winner for this week’s blog post! The recipe came from an April 2014 issue of Everyday with Rachel Ray, I had a very long-running subscription to that magazine…still do. Don’t be surprised if you see more recipes from this magazine in future posts. We collect a lot of food magazines and cook books. We told you about the binders. We left out the email subscriptions and Pinterest boards…
I’ll just be brutally honest here for a moment, from a very young age I had two dreams, one was to be Perry Mason, the Raymond Burr character. The attorney/detective that always managed to catch the real criminal and solve the case! The second to be Martha Stewart, to some this is an unpopular dream. Say what you will, she is extremely talented. She can do it all! I also obsessed over all the great cooking shows on PBS as a youngster, The Frugal Gourmet, Yan Can Cook, and Great Chefs. Well, I am still learning but now I get to share my love of food with you thanks to My Foodie Duty! I may not be a celebrity chef or own a restaurant…I’m still young! (That’s my only rant for this post I promise)
And now back to our regularly scheduled program, if you consider yourself a chicken wing/tender connoisseur you should try these. The recipe can be used to make either wings or tenders. It is simple and we were excited because we got to upgrade the My Foodie Duty Test Kitchen with a new deep-fry thermometer. We can’t decide if we like playing with the kitchen gadgets more than actually cooking the meals…just kidding it’s eating we like eating!
This recipe requires a lot of ingredients but it is simple. The majority of the ingredients go into the breading for the wings/tenders.
To prep the chicken you’ll need to leave it overnight (or for at least 4 hours) in a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar. We forgot about his part and only left it in the mixture for 2 hours. So our flavor could have been compromised! We have now been scheduling our prep a little bit better, we wrote it down for this week’s Sunday Dinner.
We used pre-cut chicken tenders because they were on sale and after the tzatziki muscles and what we are making this week, we deserve a break. Plus, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a little shortcut here and there to make your time in the kitchen a little easier.
Let’s time jump but remember that the wings or tenders should sit in this mixture for a minimum of 4 hours, up to overnight. Before deep-frying, you’ll have to drain the wings/tenders and pat them down with a paper towel to wipe off any excess moisture.
We set the tenders on a cookie sheet so we could sprinkle them with salt and pepper as instructed by Rachel Ray! At this point, we started heating the vegetable oil and placed our new deep-fry thermometer on the pot. Then we moved on to making the breading mixture and egg white mixture. Here’s where we got crazy! The recipe called for 1 tablespoon ground ancho chiles or chili powder, we used 1 heaping tablespoon of our hottest New Mexico Red Chile (there’s a little controversy over the chile vs chili spelling) Powder.
We’ve learned from reading various magazines and blogs that the best way to deal with a deep-fry is to set up stations and to have designated hands. One wet hand and one dry hand, and be sure to keep them at their assigned stations. This keeps the breading mixture from getting goopy and keeps the egg mixture from getting crumbs in it. Once you get used to it, it’s not so hard to do. We only messed up twice and luckily the mixtures stayed clean!
We should talk about maintaining oil heat. The cooking temperature for this recipe is 350° and if you aren’t using a deep-fryer you’ll need to monitor the heat of your oil. We left the thermometer on the pan the entire time since the recipe called for cooking in batches anyway. The oil loses heat as it cooks, by the time you prep your next batch the oil usually heats up again.
This was a fun recipe to make, we were constantly checking the thermometer, breading chicken tenders, and moving around the stations. Fun because it’s an active recipe, you’re constantly moving and doing something. You will be in the kitchen on your feet for however long it takes you to get through your batches of wings or tenders. It took us about an hour to an hour and a half to get everything done, not counting the two hours we let the tenders sit in the honey apple cider vinegar mixture.
The wings were really good and had a little kick to them. The recipe recommends drizzling with honey and hot sauce and serving with lime wedges. The type of hot sauce isn’t specified. I used Tapatio because it is a Mexican inspired dish. The lime was unnecessary, it didn’t really add anything to the flavor. We will most likely make this again to try different hot sauces or maybe try pineapple salsa with it. The possibilities are endless. We are calling this a My Foodie Duty Test Kitchen win for the books. We had all the proper tools, no kitchen mishaps, there were no smoke detector incidents, we just forgot to read the recipe again beforehand.
This week’s Sunday Dinner we are making something really fun from Binging with Babish a site that we just discovered that recreates recipes from movies and tv shows! We’ve also created a My Foodie Duty Pinterest where we will list recipes and kitchen tricks and tips from our favorite cook books and chefs.
Until next time, happy eating!
Mexican Fried Chicken Tenders or Wings Recipe
- 3/4 c honey, plus more for drizzling
- 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, halved crosswise OR chicken wings, separated into drumettes and wingettes
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 egg whites
- 1 c flour
- 3/4 c cornmeal
- 1 TBS ground ancho chiles or chili powder (we used Hot New Mexico Red Chile)
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- Hot sauce
- lime wedges, for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk honey and vinegar
- Add the chicken to honey and vinegar mixture; toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight
- Drain the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper
- In a large, deep pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 inches oil on medium heat until it reaches 350° degrees on a deep-fry thermometer
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites
- In another medium bowl, whisk the flour and the next 8 (dry) ingredients
- Working in batches, dip the chicken into the egg whites, then coat in the flour mixture
- Fry until golden-brown and cooked through (2 to 3 mins per batch for tenders) (7 to 10 mins per batch for wings)
- Season the chicken with salt. Serve with honey, hot sauce, and lime wedges