An excerpt from our January cover star’s new cookbook. Plus, a chance to win a signed copy.
Editor’s Note: C&I’s January 2020 issue hits newsstands Tuesday, December 10. The below recipe is excerpted from Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier.
WHAT: Crispy fried chicken strips coated in crispy pork rinds.
WHEN: Weeknight dinner (with salad), weekend appetizer, or snack.
WHY: Pork rinds have zero carbs, and they make for a tasty flour alternative for fried chicken.
When I first got wind of the concept of using crushed pork rinds as breading for chicken, I knew immediately that I was equal to the task. Although pork rinds had never been a glamorous snack before the low-carb craze set in (after which they became positively glam), I had always appreciated their porky, salty crunchiness and was excited to try this crazy new idea. Still, I was a little skeptical, if for no other reason than “pork rind chicken strips” sounded so confusing from a barnyard perspective. So I was positively elated when my first batch was absolutely amazing: crispy, crunchy, pleasantly salty, flavorful. And with essentially no carbs. Oh my! Try these soon, friends. I know you’ll love them. (And the avocado dipping sauce is the perfect complement!)
Pork Rind Chicken Strips
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
⅓ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 3-ounce bag of pork rinds
1 large egg, beaten
Vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
Avocado Dipping Sauce
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced dill
1 garlic clove, pressed
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and black pepper
Place the chicken strips in a plastic zipper bag or a bowl, then add the buttermilk, hot sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Smush everything together to mix. Place the bag in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the avocado dipping sauce: In a food processor combine the avocado, mayo, dill, garlic, lime juice, and a dash each of salt and pepper. Process until smooth, place in a bowl, and refrigerate until needed.
Place the pork rinds in a separate zipper bag. Seal the bag and crush them with your hands until mostly broken up with some bigger pieces mixed in. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg with a dash of salt and pepper. One strip at a time, lay the chicken in the pork rinds and turn it over so that the crumbs coat it. Quickly dunk the strip into the egg and then again in the pork rinds, pressing to secure them to the chicken. Place the strip on a sheet pan and repeat until all the strips are breaded.
In a large skillet, heat 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat. Cook the strips in batches until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Place the strips on a rack over a sheet pan or on a paper towel to drain.
Serve them with the avocado dipping sauce!
Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier!
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier
Hardcover: 364 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
List price: $29.99
Winners will also receive a copy of C&I’s January 2020 issue.
You can buy the cookbook at Walmart or on Amazon.
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From The Pioneer Woman Cooks: The New Frontier © 2019 by Ree Drummond.
Photography: Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers