This recipe for Onion Crusted Fried Chicken Salad is from Commander's Palace restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana
6 medium chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 medium onions, 1 cut in very small dice, 1/2 sliced very thin
1/4 cup cane, cider or malt vinegar
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable shortening, canola oil, or corn oil, for frying
2 small head Bibb or Boston lettuce, trimmed, washed, halved, and cored
2/3 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
2 roasted red peppers, store-bought or homemade, sliced
1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled
Remove the tenderloin strips from each chicken breast half, and cut each
breast half into three long strips. Place the chicken pieces in a large
bowl, season with salt and pepper, add the buttermilk, stir, and
refrigerate for an hour or two.
Place the onion slices, vinegar, cucumbers, pepper flakes, and additional salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss to combine, and set aside for the cucumbers to marinate.
Place the flour, diced onion, and some salt and pepper in a large bowl, and mix with your hands just enough to coat the onion with flour, butdon’t allow the onions to stick together.
Now coat the marinated chicken. Take a piece at a time with one hand, shake off excess liquid, and place it in the flour mixture. With your other hand, press the chicken with your knuckles so the onion adheres, then flatten out the chicken. Shake off excess, and repeat with remaining chicken.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the shortening or oil to 350 degrees F. on a deep-fry thermometer Gently place about 8 strips of chicken in the pot, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom starts to brown. Turn the chicken over, and cook until the pieces are golden brown and begin to float, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a rack that has a sheet pan as an underliner. Repeat until all chicken is fried.
Serve with marinated cucumber at the bottom of each plate, some lettuce in the center, and 3 pieces of chicken on each side of the lettuce. Drizzle blue cheese dressing on top of each salad, place some roasted pepper strips on top, and sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese.
Chef Jamie’s Tips: Chicken breasts vary in size, so you may need to adjust the cooking time. Some Bibb and Boston head are big, so two heads is only an approximation. You can also substitute hearts of Romaine. A couple wedges of tomato, when they’re in season, make a nice addition.