There is a new breading in town, and it is not the go to panko or the standard fine Italian breadcrumbs. It’s my take on what should be known as Thai breadcrumbs.
While my wife was recently away on a business trip, I came home wandering what to make for dinner. I have to be up front with you and say that I much more enjoy cooking for my wife, then I do for myself. With that said, when my wife goes out of town, I immediately think of making something a bit more spicy, and that typically lends itself to Thai flavors. At first I thought of making a quick and simple dish known as laab or “larb”, but I already had set aside some chicken the night before as I still had to make something for the kids.
Polling the kids that night, I quickly realized they wanted nothing to do with chicken, and they wanted to make pizzas out of flour tortillas. I was fine with that. While they created their pizzas, I created something pretty amazing and what I will call Thai chicken bites. Tender chicken breasts, pounded ever so thin and stuffed with basil, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai chili peppers. The kicker is the breadcrumbs. Let’s get started.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Fresh basil leaves
- 2 Kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
- Thai chili peppers, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, zested
- 1/2 cup of jasmine rice, toasted and crushed
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp water
- olive oil
Begin by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add the rice to the dry skillet, and begin to toast the rice. This should take about ten minutes. Make sure to shake the pan to make sure all sides of the rice get toasted. Once fully tested, remove the rice from the skillet, and place in your spice grinder, grinding into a medium crumb. I say medium as you do not want a dust, as you still want some of the texture of the rice.
Next, get two large sheets of plastic wrap as you will lay the chicken breast on on piece, cover it with the other, and pound it out with your meat mallet. Pound the chicken breasts from the middle, outward, pounding about a quarter inch thick. Repeat with the second chicken breast.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Next we will get the dredging stating together. Get three dishes ready. To one add the flour, the next add the beaten eggs and water, and the next the rice crumbs.
Lay out the chicken, add the basil leaves, kaffir lime leaves, some of the lime zest, and the chilies.
Roll into a log shape, and secure with two toothpicks.
Roll the chicken into the flour, then then egg wash, then the rice crumbs. Repeat with the other piece of chicken.
Lightly drizzle the bottom of a baking sheet where you will place with chicken piece with a bit of olive oil. Place a chicken log onto the baking sheet, and drizzle more oil on top of the chicken. Repeat with the other chicken roll. Place in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until your chicken is fully cooked, and the crust is a nice golden brown.
Remove the toothpicks, slice, and serve. Garnish with lime wedges.
The flavor of this chicken has Thai flavors written all over it. The great lime taste from the zest, and the aroma from the kaffir lime leaves is pretty amazing. Just the right amount of heat, and the texture from the rice breadcrumbs really make this dish a home run.