WAIT! I know what you’re thinking: “Fried chicken? Give me a break.”
Don’t leave yet. I promise this fried chicken is different. I know this because my husband and I both refuse to eat fried chicken, but will eat fried chicken Wong style. In fact, I’ve known my husband’s face to light up when I mention that we’re having fried chicken for dinner. It’s that good.
Just so we all understand, this is not an exact science. It’s a basic recipe, but the trick is in the process.
If you are new to tenderizing meat, here’s how I do it: I place my chicken breasts in two plastic grocery bags and go outside in the garage and whack away at them with a meat mallet. While this doesn’t always produce a gorgeous looking piece of chicken, it’s quick and gets the job done. This pounding serves two purposes. First, it tenderizes the meat. Second, it gets the breasts thin enough that they’ll cook completely by the time the outside is crisp.
fried chicken (wong style)
several chicken breasts, thawed, and pounded to 1/4 to 1/2 thickness
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs (plus extra, if you need it)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
Place the thawed chicken breasts on one plate, the eggs in a bowl, and the bread crumbs on another plate (or shallow bowl). Add the spices to the breadcrumbs and mix together.
Heat the oil on medium or medium-high until hot. Don’t be tempted to just put the burner on “high.” If you do, the outside of your chicken will burn as you wait for the inside to cook.
Dip the chicken breasts in the eggs and then into the breadcrumbs. You’ll want to make sure there is enough egg mixture on the chicken breasts so that the breadcrumbs will adhere.
Drop the chicken breasts carefully into the oil. My pan will only hold one or two. You don’t want to crowd these as the oil needs to stay hot enough to fry the chicken. The cooler the oil gets, the more oil your breadcrumbs will absorb, and the more greasy your chicken will be.
After 5 minutes or the chicken breasts are well browned on one side, flip over and cook until the other side is browned and the chicken breasts are cooked through.
Place one layer of paper towels on a cookie sheet. When the chicken is done, place the chicken on the paper towel and press another paper towel into the top of the chicken to absorb the excess grease. This not only makes the end result less fattening, it also gets rid of some of the greasy feel and taste. Your goal is to get rid of excess oil without pulling off the breadcrumb mixture.
Repeat this with the remaining chicken breasts, always placing them on clean paper towels and pressing them with additional clean towels. Your chicken will taste more crisp if you keep the pieces side-by-side instead of layering them one on top of the other.
Serve with lemon wedges. My husband and I love this chicken with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top.