Cornflakes and Chicken?

You betcha!

This is my favorite fried chicken recipe (read: the only one I’m interested in making).  Cornflakes and peanuts combine to give the chicken tenders a great outer layer, and the pineapple salsa makes this dish feel fancy and perfect for a special occasion.  The roomie and I made this for Valentine’s Day and I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch.  This concoction is based on this recipe, another treat that was sent to my inbox a while ago.

Cornflake-fried Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:
For the  salsa:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple (non-negotiable – pay the extra cost, you’ll be glad you did), cut into 1/2 inch or smaller pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red onion, chopped

For the chicken:

  • 1/2-2/3 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, well chopped
  • 1/2-2/3 cup cornflakes, lightly broken up
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb chicken tenders or breasts, cut into tender-sized pieces
  • cooking oil

Now there’s just four steps to success:

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the salsa and let it sit so the flavors combine.  [Warning: do not overdo the red onion – that stuff is strong! Save the rest for another dish.]
  2. Chop the peanuts and crumble the cornflakes into a shallow dish, and add in the salt and pepper.  Make more than you think you need, based on the size of your tenders, because it’s a pain to have to make more in the middle of cooking.  Also, mix together the egg and milk in a separate bowl, and set aside flour in a third bowl.
  3. Set up your bowls so they go egg -> flour -> peanuts and cornflakes.  Dredge your chicken in each ingredient and set aside.  [The original recipe had an incomplete breading process, but this system makes the cornflakes and peanuts stick perfectly, and uses ingredients you probably already had lying around.]
  4. Heat oil and cook those tenders!  Be careful because the breading burns easily.  Either use low heat or be prepared to stick them in the oven for 10 minutes at the end, at about 350.

And you’re done!  The final product is flavorful, healthy, and perfect for any season.  When you serve it, consider the acidity of the pineapple – we had it with spinach and it was not great to go back and forth between the two tastes.  Something like green beans would be a better match in the future.

Happy (almost) spring!

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