FRIED CHICKEN TENDERS AND CAULIMASH

Fried chicken is one of the first dishes I perfected when I moved out on my own. I usually make legs since that’s the part of the chicken I was raised on. Daddy had a way with chicken legs. He made them with a sweetness, pan fried without any batter. I could never duplicate that recipe. So, when I feel like I want some “Southern” cooking I always make fried chicken.

In my pre-keto days, I’d pair it with mashed potatoes–one of my most successful sides to date hands down. I would make it during the holidays every year when I was able as an additional mashed potato option. Mashed potatoes from red potatoes taste completely different than the regular spuds I grew up on. So, we always had both. Add some broccoli and there was my Southern comfort.

Now that I am about that keto life, I spend a lot of time remaking my favorite meals so I can continue enjoying them. One of my favorites is fried chicken and mashed cauliflower. It’s simple to pull together and easy to make–especially if you use frozen cauliflower. I use a specific blend of almond flour and crushed pork rinds to fry chicken. I like the soft crunch of the famous fast food fried chicken sandwiches (I need to remake the Polynesian sauce one day) so aim for a soft fry. Almond flour tends to absorb a lot of oil and darken after removed from heat so I usually avoid it when frying. The cauliflower mash is creamy and light and I add some of my pickled red cabbage to cut the fattiness and it’s like heaven on a plate.

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN

  • 1 pack of boneless skinless chicken tenders (about 4-5 pieces)
  • 2 eggs whisked or half cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of pork rind crumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

CAULIMASH

  • 1 bag of frozen cauliflower
  • 1 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil on medium heat. Add salt to the thawed chicken and set aside.
  2. Combine almond flour and pork rind crumbs in a bowl and mix. Seasoning is optional as the pork rinds already have salt.
  3. Pour onto a large plate.
  4. Season the liquid eggs with a little salt and pepper before dipping the chicken in.
  5. Roll the egg coated chicken pieces in the almond flour pork rind blend until coated.
  6. Using tongs, place chicken gently into the heated oil after breading. Do not crowd the pan.
  7. Flip chicken when edges are golden brown. The second side will take less time to brown so watch. The key to fried chicken is making sure the oil is hot enough to slowly cook the chicken through. The length of time the chicken is in the oil determines how brown the outside is but that is not the focus. If the heat is too high you will have a golden crusted raw chicken tender. No bueno.
  8. When the chicken is gold brown on both sides transfer to a napkin to absorb extra oil.
  9. Heat cauliflower according to package.
  10. Add hot cauliflower, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper to a bullet blender or food processor. Pulse and blend until smooth and creamy. You may add extra heavy cream if it’s too thick.
  11. Serve with chicken and vegetables.

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