Yesterday we had some new friends over for dinner, and I planned the menu while starving after my morning yoga class. I resurrected the tomato soup (tomato soup recipe) I always make (but haven’t for about a year), took a hint from a restaurant we went to recently and constructed a fried-chicken breast nuggets dish on fresh corn, English peas, and kale. I already had the peas and corn from my farm shipment and wanted to make sure they didn’t go to waste.
Fried Chicken Breast Nuggets on Kale, Fresh Corn, and Fresh English Peas
3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 bunches kale
4 ears corn
1/2 lb fresh English peas in pods
Sunflower, avocado, or peanut oil enough to fry in a large, high sided skillet, about 2 cups or more
2 T butter
For Chicken Coating:
1 C flour, set aside
For Chicken Batter:
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 egg whites (can use whole eggs if you prefer)
1/2 cup milk
Frying the chicken:
Cut the breasts into a few different sized chunks in order for the chicken to cook evenly by being fried. None are larger than 1.5 inches thick, 2 inches long, 2 inches wide.
Heat oil at least 1 inch deep in a large high sided skillet; do not fill the skillet more than half way. It should be about 375 degrees; if you don’t have a thermometer (I don’t), test it with a bit of batter.
Generously salt & pepper two sides of the chicken pieces, and coat in flour. Dip into the egg mixture/batter, then back in the flour, placing within a few minutes into the hot oil.
I fried the chicken in 3 batches in a 10 inch skillet to not over crowd.
Chicken will become golden and firm when poked, flip it only once and remove and place on a rack or paper towels to drain. If desired, sprinkle with sea/kosher salt at this point.
Ahead of time, wash and cut your kale–remove the thick stem, cut into 1 inch pieces. Boil some water, add salt when boiling and blanch the kale for a few minutes until deep green and tender. Drain and set aside.
Wash the corn and cut it off the cob, remove the peas from their shells.
While the oil for the chicken is heating, heat the butter in a skillet. When hot, add the corn and some salt, and continue stirring or flipping until 1/3 is golden/gaining color. Add the fresh peas and cook a few more minutes as the chicken finishes its last batch of frying.
Assemble by placing the hot corn mixture on the plate or bowl, adding the kale and topping with the fried chicken.
Plum Ice Cream:
A friend and coworker gave me some delicious, overly ripe plums last Wednesday, so I made plum preserves of the immediately with very little sugar so they retained their color and tartness; I left them in as large of chunks as was possible and canned up two small jars. They came into play when I decided to make a delicious, custard-y vanilla ice cream and swirl them in.
Adapted from David Lebovitz
3/4 Cup milk
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
2 T brown sugar
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 plump, full size vanilla bean
1/3 cup plum preserves
Heat the milk, salt, and sugars in a saucepan over low heat until sugars combine and milk is beginning to look granulated/clear. While milk is warming, scrape the vanilla bean seeds out of the pod and add it to the milk, and add the pod itself too.
Whisk lightly the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add warm milk to temper/warm the egg yolks. Once warmed, pour the egg yolks into the sauce pan with the milk and stir well as you do so to prevent coddling.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a spatula until custard is thick enough to coat the spatula. Strain the mixture into the cold heavy cream, wrinsing the vanilla bean pod and adding it back in again. Chill thoroughly and then follow your ice cream maker’s instructions, adding the preserves when the ice cream is fairly thickened, almost done.
Plum preserves recipe: Wash, then cut plums into halves or quarters if they are still very firm, place in a pot, cover with about 1/8th to 1/6th the volume in sugar, the juice of a lemon or lime or more for a great quantity, and bring to a boil; immediately reduce to a simmer for just a couple of minutes, turn off, and can.