Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beer-Batter Chicken and Minty-Smash Peas

Sound appetizing?  Because it was definitely a delectable dinner.

I threw together some leftovers for lunch this afternoon, and was looking for something to watch on Netflix instant while I was eating, since I had finished a book earlier, and didn't feel like starting a new one right away.  I found something called Oliver's Twist in my list of recommended TV shows.  I read the summary, and it was about FOOD.  No need to look further.  I clicked on it, and watched the first episode, in which Jamie Oliver made beer-batter fish & chips, and this smashed-pea thing.

After spending much of the morning thinking about what I wanted to cook for dinner (I was pretty sure I was going to make sweet-potato soup...), I threw it all out the window and decided to make some beer-batter chicken.  (Chicken, becuase I'm not a huge fish fan, but I loooove chicken.)  Also, the smashed-pea thing sounded incredibly interesting, so I decided to make that too. 

I already had chicken in the fridge, but did not have the necessary ingredients for the peas, so I stopped at Kroger on my way home from visiting Pony.  (The fact that I was driving by Kroger anyway justifies the fact that I made an unnecessary grocery stop...right?)

1) in a bowl, mix approx. 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2-1 cup flour, some beer (I used about 2/3 bottle of Samuel Adams Summer Ale...should have used less, I had to add more flour than I had planned, and I have a lot of leftover batter to play with at dinner time tomorrow...), and an egg yolk.  Beat the egg white seperately with some salt until stiff. (This is how Jamie did it on the TV show...I could not get the egg white to stiffen.  I gave up eventually and just poured it into the flour mixture. Whisk it all together, should be kinda thick.
1) heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a saucepan on the stove (you probably want to turn on the fan now...there will be some smoke when you drop in the chicken...)
2) clean a B/S chicken breast (chop off all the fat if you're obsessive about stuff like me...)
3) cut the chicken into pieces (I cut mine into strips that were probably about an inch wide)
4) put the chicken pieces in the beer batter, swirl them around some, drop them in the oil (watch out for the oil kinda hurts.  I've been splashed by burning oil so many times I hardly notice it any more)
5) let the chicken fry for a few minutes (3-5?) then fish it out and put it on some paper towels to soak up the extra grease  (ewwwwww grease)

I think Jamie Oliver just called them "smashed peas."  BORING.   Minty-smash peas sounds way cooler. 
1) Put about 2 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. 
2) Chop up some green onion and fresh mint.  (How much?  ummmmm I'm gonna guess here, cause I have no idea how much I threw in that pot.  Maybe 1/4 cup chopped green onion and...1/8 cup chopped mint leaves?  You decide.  Measuring is boring anyway.)
3) Let the onion and mint cook for a bit til they're kinda soft/wilty.  Add some frozen peas.  I added 1/2 a bag.  How big was the bag? Um, I don't remember.  Let's say I put in about a cup and a half of frozen peas.
4) Add some more olive oil if you think it's necessary ( I did), put a lid on the pot, and let the peas cook.
5) When the peas are done cooking, transfer the contents of the pot into a food processor, and blend it up. 


As a side-note, I would like to say that I am somewhat appalled that I not only made deep-fried food in my kitchen, but also ate it.  Me?  Eat deep-fried food?'s soooo not healthy!  Oh well.  Guess I should live a little once in awhile.  At least I put some vegetables on the plate with the deep-fried chicken...

Beer-batter chicken on a bed of alfalfa/radish sprouts, dollops of minty-smash peas, and tortilla chips

And I would be lying about my meal if I didn't admit to the side dishes...

Mashed avocado for the chips, and honey mustard for the chicken.  Mmmmm I love honey mustard.

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