Broken rice crispy crust and chicken cutlets
” A crust that is both crispy and airy, with a exceptionally craggy surface that foretells that a multi-textural experience awaits. “
Amongst fried foods enthusiasts, the quest to find the perfect breading, never ends. Often times either thin but un-impactful, or substantial but too heavy, the delicate balance in a perfect breading, or shall we say “crust”, is elusive and ever-changing.
But today, I feel as if I had come to a near conclusion that seems to suggest that the search is over. A breading that leads to a crust that is both crispy and airy, but more importantly, stays crispy and airy, where its exceptionally craggy surface foretells that a multi-textural experience awaits. Large and small puffy crunches that are light, spontaneous, and almost lacelike.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you, the broken rice crispy crust.
Yes, rice crispy, the juvenile cereal, the cereal that nobody actually eats on its own, the cereal that only finds life’s meanings in a tightly compressed square jammed with marshmallow and butter, the cereal that, even then, is promptly rejected by the first sign of puberty and any desire to get laid in the years that follow. Yes, that rice crispy. That rice crispy has been dying to reinvent itself and think outside its sad box. And now reinvent itself, without a doubt, it has. It’s almost as if it was born to do this, to fill in the gaps between the inadequacies of flours and breadcrumbs, to become the unsung hero. The new it-crust.
Now it would be a crime to confine its new found purpose on not just chicken cutlets. Think chicken popcorns, pork cutlets, chicken fried steak, fried fish, shrimps, or anything that welcomes a good deep fry and a glass of beer.
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tsp fine seal salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups rice crispy cereals
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- Canola oil for frying
- On a large piece of parchment paper, make a couple slits on the breast to further open it up. Cover with another parchment paper, then with the flat side of a meat pounder, pound the breast until spread out into a large piece about 1/4" (6 mm) thick. Place inside a large bowl and mix in chicken broth, sea salt and black pepper. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
- In a food-processor, pulse the rice crispy until partly broken and partly still whole, with fine crumbs on the bottom. Transfer into a pan about the size of the cutlet, and mix in AP flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, white and black pepper, sea salt and cumin until even. On another plate, add 1/2 cup AP flour. And in another bowl, whisk the eggs until even and almost watery.
- In a pot that is big enough to fit one entire cutlet flat, add enough canola oil until it's 1 1/2" (4 cm) deep. Heat over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 375 F/190 C. Meanwhile, take one cutlet and drench it in the plate with pure flour. Make sure to have a thin but even coating. Then drench it thoroughly in the beaten egg, and drain off any excess. Then lay the cutlet flat in the rice crispy-mixture, gently press it down all around, then flip it and gently press again. Do this until you have an even coating in all the nooks and cranny.
- Once the oil is heated, gently lift the cutlet and give it a few very gentle shake to get rid of excess flour, then lower it into the oil. Fry until golden browned on both side, which should take ONLY 1 min to 1:30 min MAX. Any longer the cutlet will be overcooked. Drain the cutlet on a baking rack and immediately dust it with more white pepper and sea salt. Repeat with the other cutlet.
- Serve the cutlet with your favorite salad and a wedge of lemon. Beer if you're that guy.