Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jalapeno Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken

The recipe I tried today was made for my husband. When I saw the recipe for jalapeno kettle chip crusted chicken, I knew he’d love it. I, however, was skeptical.

This will also be known as the recipe where I try to overcome just a little of my food snobbery. Like myself, I would consider my husband to be a foodie. He loves trying new recipes and enjoys quality meals. The difference between us is that I tend to venture straight past foodie into full blown food snob, whereas he is not near as picky and is willing to eat things I wouldn’t even consider real food. For instance, we have a difference of opinion over the frozen corn dogs he keeps in the freezer. While he claims that baking them instead of microwaving them improves the quality, I suggest that by eating a corndog, you’ve pretty much given up on the idea of any quality. (Yes, I am shuddering a little at admitting to you that there is a box of corndogs in my freezer. I would like to state for the record that I never eat them.) In my opinion, the type of foods that can be commonly found at a county fair or a convenience store should be avoided at all costs.

In my defense, you have to understand that I was raised by people who knew how to really cook. I was probably more spoiled on home cooked food than some people. I had no clue that instant mashed potatoes existed until I was probably about twelve. (To this day, I am still not sure why they exist.) My younger sister came home from daycare one day claiming her lunch was “a sandwich with mayo and little round things like meat.” We found out later she was referring to bologna. So, while I am responsible for turning myself into a food snob, I also blame my parents. (This claim works not only as an explanation, but also a test of whether my mother reads my blog.)

All of this is a long set up to the recipe I planned to make today, which involves breading chicken in jalapeno kettle chips. While my food snobbery makes me typically consider a dish made with potato chips to be a pretty lowbrow form of cooking, I decided this didn’t look too bad. The fact that my husband’s eyes lit up upon seeing the recipe further reassured me that I should go ahead and try this.

Jalapeno Kettle Chip Crusted Chicken
Adapted from My Life as a Mrs.

For the Chicken:
chicken tenderloins (approx 1.5 lbs)
1 bag Jalapeno Kettle Chips, crushed
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a cooling rack in a large pan or baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk together the buttermilk, salt and cayenne. Crush kettle chips and spread out on a large plate. Dip both sides of the chicken in buttermilk, then coat both sides in the crushed chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through. Serve with dipping sauce.

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) low fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of cayenne
1-2 jalapenos, diced and sautéed

Dice jalapenos. Remove seeds if you prefer a milder flavor. Heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet and sauté the jalapenos until soft. While jalapenos are sautéing, mix the other ingredients in a small bowl. Add jalapenos and mix.

I have to admit that these turned out surprisingly well for such a simple recipe. My husband loved them and kept remarking on how good they were. While I’m not a huge fan of jalapeno chips, I could see these being good with BBQ kettle chips. We might have to try that next time.

Note: Although we used Kettle brand jalapeno chips on most of the chicken, we tried a couple of the pieces with some Krunchers brand jalapeno kettle chips that my husband had been keeping around for snacking. Although he declared that the chicken with the Krunchers tasted very good, that brand left a slight green tint to the chicken. The Kettle brand did not, so I would advise using that brand if you plan to make these.

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