Andrew and I have been on the 21DSD for two weeks and 2 days, and I think our greatest accomplishment thus far (and possibly on any 21DSD we’ve done, for that matter) is these fried chicken tenders, and the waffles and gravy served along with them.
All the credit for the incredible waffles goes to Brittany Angell. Find the recipe on page 144 of her book, Every Last Crumb: Paleo Bread and Beyond. She’s created so many wonderful recipes for the paleo, gluten-free, and other allergen-friendly and food intolerance communities. Thanks for helping us bring baked goods back into the kitchen, Brittany!
The recipe below is just for the fried chicken. The gravy recipe isn’t so much a recipe as it is taking the drippings that were left from the pan after frying the chicken, deglazing the pan with a bit of chicken broth, and blending it all together with a few tablespoons of sour cream for thickening and creaminess. We adjusted the salt and pepper of the gravy, to taste. Easy-peasy.
(Fun fact: my spell checker had no problem with the word “easy-peasy”. We’ve come so far.)
This is comfort food at it’s best, and the only sad thing was that we could only have about one and a half waffles, as the 21DSD starch allowance is only 2 tablespoons per day. After dividing out how many waffles the recipe made with our waffle maker, that equated to one and a half waffles. The upside, though, was that the leftovers stored really well in the fridge once cooled, and made a great way to have a breakfast sandwich the next day. I just cut one waffle in half diagonally and loaded it with some egg and bacon, and served it alongside a little veg. I love multipurpose cooking!
- 1 to 1.5 pounds uncooked chicken tenderloins
- 1/2 cup almond meal/flour (finely ground)*
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 pinch red chili flakes
- 1 large egg, whisked
- About 1/3 cup bacon grease, coconut oil, shortening**, or a mix of these
- In one large shallow bowl, whisk your egg.
- In another large shallow bowl, sift together (or mix with a fork) your dry ingredients.
- In a large, high-sided skillet, or in a stock pot (we used a stock pot), melt your bacon grease (or coconut oil, or shortening) over medium heat. We used about 2 to 3 tablespoons of bacon grease, and about 2 to 3 tablespoons of shortening.
- Our oven is to the right of our counter, so for us, from left to right...
- Chicken tenderloins, packaging removed and ready to move down the "assembly line"; bowl with the whisked egg; bowl with dry ingredients; skillet/pot with oil on the stove, fat of choice completely melted and heated.
- Working from left to right (or the opposite, depending on where your stove is located), begin by dipping the chicken tender in the egg mixture with one hand to coat.
- Drop it into the dry mix, and with your opposite hand, shake the bowl to coat. If it doesn't look like it's completely covered, use your dry, non-eggy hand to carefully flip the chicken to finish coating, then drop it gently into the heated fat.
- Pay attention to where you drop each piece. Try to go in some kind of order, so that when you go to flip the chicken to cook on the other side, you'll be flipping the piece that's been in the longest, then moving down the line to the one that's been in the melted fat the shortest amount of time.
- Continue this process, egg mixture with one hand, dry mixture and moving to the fat to cook with the other, with each piece of chicken.
- Each piece should only need to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side, but keep an eye on that first piece you put in for the when the edges poking above the oil look like they're starting to brown.
- When they start to brown, flip them, let them cook about another 3 to 4 minutes (or until browned), then remove from the fat to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool.
- Enjoy as-is, or alongside some of those amazing waffles, a la Brittany Angell.***
- See the post above for how we did the gravy for these - a hint: don't discard your cooking fat just yet!
- * A brand I like is King Arthur; they started selling almond flour more recently, and I like the result I get when I use it for breading and baked goods alike.
- ** Spectrum has a shortening that's made from palm oil that I like.
- *** See post above for the link to her recipe.