Chicken Maryland with Corn Red Pepper Pudding and Fried Bananas #SundaySupper
This wasone of the most common dishes in restaurants when I was growing up, when therewas not much middle ground, it was either the very fancy, expensive,sophisticated cuisine place or the neighbourhood restaurant, full of loud kidsand smelling of frying oil, tomato sauce and barbecue. I rarely went to theformer, my parents not fond of eating out nor particularly foodie types.
Chicken à la Maryland, how it appearedin the menu from what I recall, was pretty popular. It’s no doubt a retrorecipe in every way, from the deep frying to the combination of flavors. Iliked it and so did my older brother. So for us it was a treat. I suspect because we never ate it at home.
The idea ofmaking chicken maryland for this blog would never have happened otherwise. Why?It’s a fried chicken milanesa (breaded fried breast) with creamed corn, fried bananasand a piece of roasted red pepper. Sometimes a thin slice of ham came on top ofthe chicken and below the ‘decorative’ red pepper. Not a leaf of any kind insight. Amazing how people survived in those years. And I bet they were healthierthan us in many ways.
Anyway, Idid a couple of modern twists to the whole thing, while retaining its essence.The addition of a sliced tomato was the inevitable thing to happen afterplating all those monochromatic ingredients. I couldn’t possibly eat thatwithout something fresh to balance it a bit.
My mother had come to lunch andshe even suggested going across the street to the supermarket and buying someparsley so I could liven it up for the picture; finally I found some chives andsprinkled them on top.
Thischicken maryland 2013 consists of a corn and roasted red pepper pudding, bakedchicken breast fingers coated in panko crumbs and bananas sautéed in a littlebutter. And a tomato.
Let me tellyou the pudding is great on it’s own, with some ricotta, parmesan and roasted peppers that I charred myself. The blackening of red peppers is a funthing to do, you get to put it directly over the flame and play around with ituntil it’s all charred and soft. You get to play with fire, when was the last timeyou were allowed to do that?
I used medium custard cups and a small one thatwould go well in the plate. But the best way to make this is as a big puddingand serve it by spoonfulls family-style. Made in small cups it looses a lot of that creamy consistency.
The chickenfingers are easy to make and there’s nothing like panko to achieve the maximumcrunchiness. I dip them in egg and water, then in panko, and do it twice. Thenthe tiniest drops of olive oil and into the oven they go.
The banana was slicedand sautéed in some butter, because there’s no healthy way to do that. It mustbe done at the last possible minute because they soften up quickly. By the timeI started taking pictures they were getting uglier by the second.
Finally wesat down to eat, a weird dish for today’s way of eating, especially the way Ieat. The tomato was a perfect addition and almost necessary. But once I had myfork with some chicken, a piece of banana, tomato and some corn pudding on top,it was very good. Not greasy at all and a flavor that I had forgotten about.Especially the banana.
The cornpudding was the best part, and qualified as a meal on it´s own. Coming out ofthe oven it looks puffed like a half risen soufflé. You have to take it outwhile it still barely jiggles, so the center is soft but cooked and creamy. Andyou can add anything to it, even ham, cooked chicken, other veggies.
Panko crusted chicken breast fingers
Corn and Roasted red pepper pudding
Chives for sprinkling
Make cornpudding first. While it´s baking, prepare chicken and cook in the same oven.
Fry bananasand arrange half a chicken breast, half a banana, one serving of corn puddingand ½ tomato on each plate. Sprinkle with olive oil and chives.
3 Tbsgrated parmesan cheese + 1 Tbs for sprinkling
½ cupchopped roasted red peppers
Prepare red peppers: Put the washed pepper directly on the flame.With kitchen thongs, turn it constantly, charring it as much as you can. Letcool and peel scraping it with a knife or spoon. Some skin won´t come off,that´s ok. Cut it in half and take out seeds and veins. Wash the pepper and drycarefully with paper towels.
Chopp ¼ ofit for the pudding. Cut the rest in large chunks, put in a plastic container,cover with olive oil and cover tightly. Refrigerate for another use.
For pudding: Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Put corn,ricotta, eggs, cream, flour, salt, pepper and sugar in the bowl of a foodprocessor fitted with the steel blade. Process until well mixed, about 30seconds.
Take theblade out and add peppers and 3 Tbs parmesan. Mix with a spoon or spatula andcheck seasoning. You can also tranfer the mixture to a bowl before adding thepeppers, but you´ll have an extra bowl to wash.
Transfercorn mixture to four 1-cup ramekins or 4-cup souffle dish. Sprinkle withremaining Tbs parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until puffed andgolden.
PANKO CRUSTED CHICKEN FINGERS
2 cupspanko breadcrumbs, or more
4 or 5 Tbswater
Olive oilfor baking
Preheatoven to 350ºF. Oil a baking tray.
Cleanchicken breast and cut into strips. Put panko in a shallow plate and seasonwith salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add water and mixwell.
Takechicken strips, dip them in the egg and coat them completely in the panko.Repeat with the egg dipping and panko coating. Be sure the panko is welladhered. Some of it might remain in the egg after the second dipping.
Arrange inprepared tray, drizzle with drops of more olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Turn over and bake for 5 or 10 moreminutes, until golden.
Peelbananas and cut into ¾ inch slices. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heatand add bananas. Cook 1 minute on each side.
Do this athe last minute, preferably after the chicken is done.
Here is alist of amazing recipes to take you back in time:
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