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Fiery “Fried”Chicken and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Creamy Italian Herb Dressing

Friday, 02 Jan 2009
 

fieryfriedchicken

Tonight Matt requested the Amazon Fried Chicken I made a couple weeks back, but I was missing a couple of key ingredients.  But I did have Real Simple’s recipe for Fiery “Fried” Chicken.  This is a great oven-fried chicken with plenty of spice to keep things interesting.  However, tonight was a night of improvisation. I did not have the chili-garlic sauce or the pineapple juice called for in the recipe.  My substitutions came out well and the concoction I dipped the chicken in before the breadcrumbs came out was very flavorful.  Here’s what I mixed together for two chicken breasts:

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 dashes cayenne pepper

1 dash paprika

1 dash garlic powder

1 clove of garlic, put through a garlic press

dillchivedressing

I served it with a green salad topped with beautiful yellow heirloom tomatoes and a creamy Italian dressing with fresh dill and chives.  The cool herb dressing made a great foil for the fiery chicken.  However, I managed to botch the first creamy Italian herb salad dressing recipe I tried.  I got the idea from Recipezaar.com’s Creamy Italian Salad Dressing.  The red wine vinegar curdled the dressing and it couldn’t be salvaged.  [UPDATE:  Well, I have no one to blame but myself for how this dressing turned out.  The directions say to mix it in the blender and I just whisked it, so that’s why the dressing broke/curdled.  Also, it’s flavor improves if it’s left in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld.  Marie, the original poster of the recipe on RecipeZaar was kind enough to give me these much appreciated pointers!]   Anyway, after I destroyed the initial dressing recipe, here’s what I came up with:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon sour cream

2 tablespoona fresh lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, minced or put through a press

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons minced fresh dill

2 teaspoons minced fresh chives

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

1 dash garlic powder

The crucial part for me was keeping this mixture from curdling.  First, I whisked together the olive oil and lemon to blunt the force of the lemon.  Then I gradually added the yogurt, whisking furiously.  At this point, it didn’t curdle.  I added the sour cream, continuing to whisk quickly.  When even that didn’t curdle, I felt that the mixture was stable and I added the rest of the ingredients.  This is one of those recipes where you can add more of whatever you want to be the dominant flavor.  Just be careful if it’s the lemon juice — I think that’s best added at the start with the oil.  This turned out really well and I even put some on top of my chicken as sauce.



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