Before eating, say “Itadakimasu!” (ee-tah-dah-kee-mahss) which literally means “I humbly receive” and when you’re done, say ‘Gochisousama deshita!” (Goch-sou-sah-mah-desh-tah) which kind of means “thank you for the meal”.
I love fried chicken, but deep frying is scary. I was inspired by a Japanese recipe which makes a nice crisp crunchy baked chicken. In the original recipe, bite-sized chunks of chicken breast are dredged in potato starch (katakuriko), and allowed to rest so the starch adheres. Then the chicken is dipped in egg white, then coated with black sesame seeds or crushed peanuts. For Passover I made a variation of this recipe using ground almonds. In both cases, I braved the deep fryer: and it was well worth it.
I got to thinking that the nuts make a nice crunchy coating, but it is the potato starch and egg white which make the coating stick to the meat. It works so well that one can successfully bake the chicken! Nuts make such easy tasty snacks that they don’t stay stocked in my pantry.
Bread crumbs, however, are not great snacks: but they are a great pantry staple. Panko (パン粉) is Japanese breadcrumbs used for crispy coating deep fried foods. It’s made from crustless bread and has a crisper, airier texture than most breading used in Western cuisine.
Panko Baked Chicken
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup potato starch
- ½ cup potato starch
- egg white, stirred
- 1½ cups panko
- 1½ pounds bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
- oil for the baking pan
Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Trim extra fat and discard. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge each thigh in the potato starch. Shake off excess. Let it sit for a few minutes so the starch absorbs moisture from the chicken. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg white, then back into the starch. Finally dip into the egg white one last time and roll in the panko to coat. Arrange without touching in a oiled baking dish.
Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes. Check for doneness (165°F) with a meat thermometer. Serve hot or cold.
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