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Tea-Crusted Fried Chicken with Pickled Green Beans and Carrots

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

Chinese lapsang souchong tea adds smoky flavor to these pan-fried chicken breasts. Tangy pickled carrots, green beans, and shallots round out the plate.

  • 3 cups plus 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. very coarsely ground coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into
  • 1/2 -inch-thick rounds (about 3 medium)
  • 6 Tbs. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. lapsang souchong tea leaves, crumbled
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lb.)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and 2 tsp. of the coriander seeds and cook until the shallot is softened and the coriander is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add 4 cups water, the sugar, 3 Tbs. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and carrots and cook until just beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar, and set aside.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1 tsp. coriander seeds, the tea, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle the chicken breasts all over with the tea mixture and pat to adhere. Put the flour in a shallow dish and the buttermilk in another. Dredge the breasts in the flour, the buttermilk, and then the flour again.

Attach a candy thermometer to a 12-inch skillet. Heat the remaining 3 cups oil in the skillet over medium-high heat to 335°F. Fry the chicken on both sides, flipping once, until deep golden-brown and just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a wire rack to drain briefly. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Strain the pickled carrots, green beans, and shallots and serve with the fried chicken.

Serving Suggestions

End the meal with a fresh, easy dessert like Melons with Ginger Syrup.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 540; Fat (g): fat g 36; Fat Calories (kcal): 320; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3.5; Protein (g): protein g 38; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 21; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 10; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 670; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 95; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very good--the green beans and carrots were perfect. I had only large chicken breasts, so I cooked them in the sous-vide cooker first, then fried them briefly for the crispy coating. This worked well.

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