NASHED-UP HOT CHICKEN CUTLET SANDWICH

nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich24

HOT DICKS SO BIG

nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich01

Today is the 4th day, the longest duration since 2002, the year I moved to New York, that I’ve ever gone without ingesting a drop of coffee.  Not a drop.

Because on September 6th 2015, an otherwise wonderfully uneventful morning, my coffee-stash abruptly ran out on me without a warning as if it was premeditated, leaving me in a cold-turkey caffeine withdrawal that I’m frankly too sleepy to wrestle.  Right of course, I don’t live in a no-man’s land.  There’s a convenience store downstair just 3 minutes of walking from where my ass sits, ready to supply me lacking but coffee-like substances that will ease the cold sweats and wobbling mind.  But more to my own surprise than anything else, I didn’t go.  In the passing 96 hours of brain-paralysis, waiting for my online coffee shipment which hasn’t came yet, I just stayed inside my bunker chewing and spitting out green tea-leaves, mainly trying to open my eyes without much success.  Shit, I can’t even open them now.  Did you know you can type with your eyes closed?  Uh Whast was thsr?

This episode told me something about myself.  You know I would never sell my sloth short of its worth, God bless its noble soul, but apparently I have underestimated it all this time.  Apparently, I’m even lazier than the human instinct to stay lucid.  Su[er HumN, RElly.

nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich08

nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich10
nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich12
nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich07

nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich13
nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich14
IMG_0026

But today, I’m not talking about my own virtue.  Nor am I talking about (and let’s not mention “the C word” which will trigger wild palpitation) the “thing” that I ingest everyday.  Or, as a matter of fact, ever.  Right, today we’re talking about something, two things actually, that I have never eaten before.  The Taiwanese street-food chicken cutlet, and the Nashville’s hot chickens.  And how I found them unappealing separately, but ever-more sensible in conjunction.

No matter which one you hear more of, you should know that as far as fried chicken goes, the iconic status of these two Kings in their own domains are, without a doubt, equally so.  Like distant but aware rivalries standing on top of their faraway peaks, staring each other down… or making eye contact-sex (sans-caffeine guys, sans-caffeine).  But I’m going to start with what I’m more familiar with, the Taiwanese street-food chicken cutlets that roams virtually in every night markets and beyond.  Familiar, yes, but intimate, no.  After all, I’ve never actually tried one…  Now, please note that it took considerable courage as a Taiwanese to say what I just said, for it is no less intense than for a New Yorker to say that he/she’s never had a bagel.  It’s practically comedy.  But the reasons why I’ve never tried it, I shall defend if I may, stand soundly on a very reasonable ground, that A) It’s made of chicken breasts.  Chicken breasts!  And B) It’s named weird.  Right, let’s just say that I could overlook the cardboard-nature of chicken breast since it is transformed, in this case, through brining and hot grease… let’s just say, I still don’t find it particularly salivating when something’s named in the same pronunciation as, Dick So Big.  Yah, the stall that made this crispy deep-fried chicken cutlet famous for its enormity, is called “Hao Da (homophone to so big) Ji Pai (homophone to dick in Taiwanese dialogue)”.  Maybe they found it funny, but at every encounter when I asked myself, do I feel like having a dick so big?  The appetite fell curiously short.  And then of course, also, it’s chicken breast.

Now, on the other hand, Nashville’s hot chickens.  Well, A) I’ve never been to Nashville.  And B) I’ve never been to Nashville.  I don’t doubt for a second that if given the chances, I would gladly power through this absurdity of greasy fried chickens – as if not enough – further coated in more hot calories (if you haven’t heard, it’s fried chickens brushed with cayenne-spiced oil).  After all, the curious cases of this, this and this, doesn’t necessarily help my argument in a non fat-binding agreement… but that doesn’t mean that I don’t find it slightly excessive.  The chicken drumsticks… the fatty thighs… the chicken skins with all that saturated hostility… the… hummm?  Wait.  I can’t remember my own face in the past few days but, did somebody mention earlier… lean-y chicken breasts?

Do you hear that, too? If there’s anything in this world abundant with chicken legs and all their juiciness, that could motivate me to try their pale and lifeless alternative, the breasts, it is the assurance that I get to smother them, as a kinky punishment really, in a spicy and oily paste booming with powered chilis and garlic powder.  Now this makes sense, but of course I’ve made my own adjustments even to that.  I found most of the recipes online… well, evasive.  I don’t think they’ve at all came truly forward with their “secret recipes”, because they didn’t at all taste “secretive” to me.  Often bland, monotoned and… unexciting.  So I boosted the paste with more throat-warming white pepper, a tip-of-the-hat to Taiwanese chicken cutlets (fine, call it dicks so big, whatever), a pinch of curry powder and a final butt-slapping grated garlic and a few drops of vinegar, and I let it get real happy with itself for a few hours before using.  Crunchy, greasy, scorching with hint of balancing sweetness, it’s truly now a bona-fide… hot dicks so big.  With the tang of the mustardy pickled cucumber and lightly mayo-ed, squishy buns, nearly made me forget to snarl at the tenderised…  Hmm!!!!  Who’s that at the door!?

OK shut up, my coffee is here.

nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich16
nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich17

NASHED-UP CHICKEN CUTLET SANDWICH

Ingredients

    CHICKEN AND MARINATE:
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup (240 grams) buttermilk (or 1/2 whole milk + 1/2 plain yogurt)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • HOT CHICKEN PASTE:
  • 4 tbsp (24 grams) Korean chili flakes/gochugaru
  • 1 tbsp (12 grams) white peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 tsp (9 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp (3 grams) Mexican chili powder
  • 2 tsp (6 grams) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp (4 grams) black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp (2 grams) paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) canola oil + 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 grated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • CUCUMBER QUICK PICKLES:
  • 2 (225 grams) baby cucumbers, cut into thick slices
  • 1/4 cup (58 grams) white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp whole mustard seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • CHICKEN BREADING:
  • 1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (107 grams) tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup (102 grams) find cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. TO MARINATE THE CHICKEN: With a sharp knife, slice cross the breast to open it up like a book without completely cutting through. Try to achieve the same thickness on both sides. Place it in between 2 pieces of parchment, then with the flat side of a meat-pounder, pound the breast from the centre then outward, until it's about 1/4" (6 mm) thick. Repeat with the other breast. Whisk together buttermilk, egg, salt, tabasco sauce, ground black pepper, sugar and garlic powder until smooth, then marinate the chicken in the mixture for at least 2 hours to 4 hours.
  2. TO MAKE THE HOT CHICKEN PASTE: (If you don't have a spice-grinder or a blender with spice-grinder attachment, you can just mix together pre-ground spices, and ground cayenne for Korean chili flakes.) In a spice-grinder, grind Korean chili flakes, white peppercorns, light brown sugar, Mexican chili powder, black peppercorns, paprika, garlic powder, salt and curry powder for a couple min, until it's finely powderized. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Heat canola oil and unsalted butter together over medium-high heat, until the milk solids starts to brown. Pour the hot oil into the spice-mixture while whisking simultaneously. Once incorporated, add the grated garlic and white wine vinegar, and whisk to combine. Set aside for at least 2 hours before using.
  3. MAKE THE CUCUMBER QUICK PICKLES: In a large bowl, soak the sliced cucumber with white wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand for 30 min, tossing and turning occasionally. Then squeeze the cucumber hard in between your hands, in small batches, to get rid of any excess liquid, then discard the liquid. Toss the cucumber with toasted and ground mustard seeds and Dijon mustard. Set aside until needed.
  4. TO FRY THE CUTLETS: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, tapioca flour, fine cornmeal, salt and pepper. Remove the cutlets from the marinate, then drench it in the flour-mixture until all surfaces are thoroughly coated. Place the breaded cutlets on a baking-rack for 10 min for the flour to hydrate slightly. Meanwhile, add enough canola oil into a large deep skillet (a cast-iron skillet is perfect) until it reaches 2" deep. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 330F/165C, or until it bubbles up immediately around an inserted wooden chopstick. Fry the cutlet one at a time, until golden browned on both side
  5. Your hot paste may seem too thick and unspreadable at this point. Microwave on high for 40 sec to loosen up (or in a pot over medium heat). To rub the hot paste over the cutlets, I like to use my hands with plastic gloves (but you can use a brush). Just rub/apply as much or as little evenly into the nooks and crannies of the cutlets. Serve the cutlets in between a soft burger buns with a bit of mayonnaise and cucumber pickles. I like to stick a couple of basil leaves in there, too but that's optional.

Notes

Other hot thicken recipes usually tell you to use the frying oil after the chickens have been fried, to make the hot paste. But the paste needs time to sit and develop flavour (makes a big difference), so I urge you to make it a couple hours (or the day) before frying the chickens.

http://ladyandpups.com/2015/09/10/nashed-up-hot-chicken-cutlet-sandwich/
nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich21

nashed-up-chicken-cutlet-sandwich23

28 Comments

  • Well I am sitting right downtown Nashville and I can say your chicken sandwich looks a lot like “the Nashville Hot Chicken” sandwich! Your recipe is just a bit more involved and interesting. The basis for our world famous hot chicken is a mixture of lard and cayenne pepper…that is the basic hot recipe with various restaurants tossing in a few other seasonings to liven it up. Old school is just lard and cayenne pepper! Lordy mercy it is good and hot. I like your version and hope to give it a try soon.

    • Jessica, Taiwanese chicken cutlets are breaded with Taiwanese tapioca flour, which has little specks that adds to the crunch. But it isn’t always easy to find, so I faked a version of mine with flour, tapioca flour, and fine cornmeal :)

  • Hahaha I’m hoping my company has some kind of filter so they can tell I’m reading about “hot dicks so big”. Hi guys, it’s a food blog, I swear! :)

  • Ha! I can’t believe it that I am sitting here reading this and drinking a cup of TEA! Why? Because I too, ran out of my espresso pods and had forgotten to order in time. Thankfully, they will be here tomorrow and I only had to go one day without them! At least I have a good excuse for putting off “things I need to do” since the sloth in me is worse today than usual.
    This sandwich is a monster! I have everything I need except the chicken. I might try to make this over the weekend. I made your Favorite Roast Chicken again last night. Love the fried egg part. I actually sprinkled some Korean hot chili flakes in with the butter mixture – really good!
    BTW, is that your church door table?

      • I’m so happy for you!!! Looking forward to my espresso tomorrow, too.
        I stupidly thought, being an American, that church and Old Chinese Courtyard were the same thing, LOL. Really don’t know why I thought that – guess the doors were big and imposing……
        Nice table – hopefully good things came through that door (as opposed to many/most church doors).
        Have a lovely caffeine enhanced day!

  • Oh this looks stupid good. Like, screw my eggs for breakfast, I need this sandwich! Hoping that you have received your shipment of coffee and that you have refueled!

  • This sandwich is divinely outrageous… that chicken to bread ratio, that golden-fried crispness… Mandy your recipes always blow my mind but this one has left me with a drool-saturated keyboard and weak knees. I am dying to try out this recipe (and just wait til I tell my husband we’re having “hot dick so big” for dinner). As always, excellent work!

  • We are making this sandwich as I am typing….all the components are ready and all we are waiting on is my daughter’s boyfriend to arrive so we can start frying! Serving it on King’s Hawaiian Sandwich rolls. Big, sweet and squishy! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into this yummy concoction.

    • Just had to report in that this sandwich was the biggest hit! Boyfriend said it was the best chicken sandwich he had ever had! We added cilantro to the basil and loaded it up with the terrific pickles. Have to say the King’s Hawaiian hamburg buns were a perfect pairing with the spicy chicken! Love, love, loved, it!

        • I’ll second the King’s Hawaiian bun as being the perfect vehicle for these. I made them last year and even my “I don’t like spicy food” daughter loved them (with only a little of the sauce). I’m making them again tomorrow, I’ve waited long enough!

  • Such a nice idea to make CHICKEN CUTLET SANDWICH. I will try to make that one but won’ t be able. So can i have your contact for the order ?

  • I made this on the weekends and it was absolutely delish!! The chicken has flavour bom and it was super crunchy!!! The sauce was a perfect pairing too. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • Hi mandy! How long do you think the hot chicken paste will keep? And should I store it in the fridge or room temp?

    Thanks,

    Eva

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *