Leftover Chili Taco Bowls
This week's lentil chili recipe makes a fantastic base for a healthy weeknight taco bowl!
Suppose that you have some leftover cornbread waffle batter from the weekend, and you also have some chicken. What are you going to do next?
I first tried this over New Year’s when we were in LA (thanks, Sara! 🙂 ) and basically since then I’ve wanted to have it again because, well… it’s just really fun. And also delicious. I know it sounds weird, but how many other times have you had something sweet with something salty and it went well? Anytime you’ve had chutney, for example. Feta and fruit. It’s just a good combination. And even though this is not close to those examples on the heath scale, it’s pretty darn good.
One caveat: While most of the time this will be served with deep-fried, super breaded fried chicken, it is probably plain from the photograph above that we did not go that route. We actually made my favorite friend chicken recipe in the world, which is from my mom.
For two people, you will need:
First of all, don’t do what I did – cook your waffles last. Otherwise they will cool down way before your chicken is done.
Secondly, get out your piece of chicken and put it on a large piece of saran wrap that you can fold over. Make sure there’s plenty of room around the sides. Then, grab your meat tenderizer and use the flat side of it to pound the chicken to be about half as thin (and twice the surface area) that it started out to be (this is why one is plenty for two people).
It’s also important to do this because when you are frying something, there’s not a lot of time before the outside gets totally done. The meat (or whatever) has to be thin enough that it will get cooked through in the amount of time it takes to get a nice browning on the outside.
Get your flour, salt and pepper (liberally!) into a bowl for dredging, and melt 2-3 tablespoons of shortening into a good-sized skillet. Keep it on medium heat – you do not want this to get crazy hot. Really hot grease is very dangerous and painful. Side note: if you ever should happen to have a grease fire, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT throw water on it because it will make the fire even bigger. Use baking soda or a fire extinguisher to put the fire out.
Since we aren’t deep frying, the breading is not going to cover 100 percent of the surface of the chicken. That is OK! Let it fry for a bit – this might take 10-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it and use tongs to check for a beautiful crust forming on the other side. When you see it, you can flip it over, and it will look like this:
You can keep cooking for a while to get the crust where you want it. The ideal color is that bright orange.
This is what it looks like when you are done.
And this is what it looks like with a waffle. I recommend keeping the syrup off the chicken, but loading your fork up with both waffle and chicken. Dig in! 🙂