Beignet Fried Chicken – Happy Fat Tuesday
Today is Fat Tuesday – a day to indulge, to celebrate, to party! Many cultures celebrate Fat Tuesday by eating fried food, pancakes, drinking merrily, and partying in the streets. This day is the last day before Lent – a time to give up bad habits, most often drinking alcohol and fatty/sweet foods. So you’ve gotta go BIG, before you give it all up!
Nearly 200 years ago, we began our Mardi Gras tradition in the US, down South in New Orleans. Mardi Gras celebrations are part of the basis of the slogan, Laissez les bons temps rouler, (Let the good times roll). Since today is the last day or Mardi Gras, I thought I’d share one of my more decadent, Creole-style recipes: Beignet Fried Chicken over a Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Fennel Slaw, drizzled with a Pineapple Vodka Sauce!
Of course this recipe is not so “fattening”, and there are many nutritional elements… So let’s try it out, and let the good times roll 🙂
ALWAYS make slaw first. Why? The flavors will develop and blend better if slaw sits in the fridge for several hours before serving.
Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Use the grater blade on food processor to grate:
- 1 cup fresh pineapple
- ½ bulb fresh fennel
- ½ cup red cabbage
- 3 tbsp red onion
- 1 seeded jalapeño
Dressing for slaw – mix together:
- 1 – 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp fresh pineapple juice – literally squeeze a piece of pineapple with my hand
- ½ tsp celery salt
- pinch of black pepper
Mix slaw w/ dressing in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. While the slaw marinates lets make our chicken!
The Beignet Mix is made from:
- 3/4 cup all purpose organic flour
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup 2% milk
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and chili powder
*Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix the water, egg and milk in small bowl and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Cooking the chicken:
- Heat a mix of vegetable and coconut oil (about 1 inch deep) in a pan over medium heat.
- Wash, dry and cube 2 chicken breasts into 2” cubes. Lightly coat in salted flour.
- Dredge chicken in beignet batter and shake off and excess.
- Gently place in the pan with the hot oil. Let cook until golden brown before flipping (approximately 3 minutes). *You want the chicken to be cooked through, so after frying, I place the chicken on a pan in a warm oven (about 200 degrees), while I prepare the sauce…
Pineapple Vodka Sauce – because you need a little booze on Fat Tuesday
In a small sauce pan heat:
- 3 tbsp pineapple jelly
- 3 tbsp vodka
- 3 tbsp fresh clementine juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch of salt, ground cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper
Bring to LIGHT boil and stir for 30 seconds. You want it to coat a spoon not separate, burn or be too watery. Remove cinnamon stick and remove pot from heat.
Make your plate: Slaw, Chicken, drizzle the Sauce. ENJOY!
Love & Yum,
Lindsay (Mama) O’Neill