A New Gadget And Lemon Pepper Faux Fried Chicken

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Meat TenderizerI have a new kitchen gadget to tell you about. Maybe you already have one and this is old news. I had never seen one before, or at least not like this one. It’s a meat tenderizer. Not one of those “hammer the heck out of the meat” tenderizers that resembles a hammer. This one has a bunch of little razor sharp blades to prickle the meat.

Being the cheapskate that I am, I got one with just a few blades – 16 or 18, something like that. They have others that go up to 48 blades or more. I figured they probably all work the same. The only difference is the number of times it takes to prickle the meat.

I’ve used this so far on chicken breasts and tough cuts of steak. The results were pretty awesome. It not only makes the meat tender which is good for eating purposes, it saves money allowing you to buy the cheap chewy stuff. Plus the little holes it makes allows any marinade you use to sink right in fast. A bonus timesaver!

The Kid is getting bored with my cutting diet so I decided to make her faux fried chicken last night while I ate the boring stuff. I’ve got a couple secrets to making it. I use boneless skinless chicken thighs. I can see you cringe at the thought of dark meat instead of the good for you, low fat breasts. In reality, once the skin is removed the thighs are in the ballpark in fat and calories as the breasts. Make sure you read your packages and get ones without flavors and fat injected.

The thighs “fry” up like fried chicken in a little non-stick spray and the bit of visible fat they have left on them after the skin is removed. You can also try this recipe with breasts if you like, but the pieces will be drier than the thighs. Still tasty, but I wanted to warn you first.

Lemon Pepper Fried Chicken Lemon Pepper Faux Fried Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Spray a pan with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic to begin browning as you prepare the chicken. Put the flour in a shallow dish and sprinkle in cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Dredge each chicken thigh in the flour mixture until evenly coated on both sides.

To save calories and effort, I didn’t bother coating the chicken in anything before the flour. It was moist enough for the flour to stick without problems. If your chicken is dry, you can wet it with a little water or milk. Place the chicken pieces in the heated pan and brown on one side. This takes about 5 minutes.

Flip the chicken and pour in the lemon juice. The juice will bubble almost immediately in the hot pan and start to evaporate. Brown the remaining side of the chicken as the juice boils away. About another 5 minutes. When the chicken is brown, crispy and thoroughly cooked, remove from heat. Serves about 4.

You can spice this up by using more cayenne pepper or other spices that are your faves. It would also be good with lime juice and a bit of red curry paste, and of course a side of steamed broccoli.

I was on a shake and bake kick years ago, but now use this method to make chicken for The Kid. She likes dipping pieces in BBQ sauce or sometimes ketchup. Have you tried faux fried chicken before?

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