Virginia Chicken Toes with Buttermilk Ranch
I made pasta with goat cheese and roasted red peppers for my husband and myself for dinner. One boy despises roasted red peppers, the other doesn’t love them enough to eat them as a main ingredient. I was trying to figure out what to do for their dinner when I realized that the package of boneless breast I thought I had purchased turned out to be an entire skinless, boneless chicken cut into pieces. I immediately thought of making chicken fingers for the boys with the dark meat and using the breasts for our pasta. I have only made chicken fingers for them once, and rarely fry chicken on the bone because I always want it to taste like my grandmas and it never, ever does.
While we were playing in the pool with our kids last summer, my Virginia friend was telling me how to make really good Southern fried chicken. Well she has moved back to Virginia and this summer I miss her more than I can say. I decided to make my chicken fingers “Virginia style” using the tips my friend gave me, then I remembered that chickens don’t have fingers, so it would be ridiculous to call them chicken “fingers”. I made chicken toes instead.
When the boys asked what was for dinner I told them. Anytime I can get a genuine smile out of my teenager when I tell a dumb joke I feel grateful. I know soon, anytime, I will get an eye rolling instead. The boys loved them and said they were as good as Mc Donald’s. Dadgummit! Back to the drawing board.
2 each, boneless, skinless, fat-trimmed chicken wings, thighs, legs
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground, dried ginger
1/2 c. milk
2 1/2 c. canola oil
2 T butter
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. fresh chives, minced
2 oz. buttermilk, more or less depending on how thick you want it
Cut chicken into chunks.
Sift together flour, salt and pepper, and ginger.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add butter.
Dip chicken pieces into milk.
Dredge in flour mixture and fry until golden brown.
Drain on absorbent paper.
Serve with dressing for dipping.
Makes 2 to 4 servings.