Tawainese Fried Chicken Recipe

There are not many ideal times to cook and blog during my work week, primarily because by the time I am done with preparing and cooking for the family, it is dark and the photos are just not that great. I usually get over that fairly quickly and accept that is just how it goes down during the work week. This is one of those photos that are not at all very good, but let me tell you the flavor of this Tawainese fried chicken was pretty amazing. It was one of those quiet times at the table where everyone had their mouths to the fork or just crushing a sandwich loaded with this Tawainese chicken. This is fairly simple to make, and it one that can take on a marinade overnight, or simply for a hour, and then a bit of frying and boom! You have dinner.

Tawainese Fried Chicken Recipe
Tawainese Fried Chicken Recipe

Ingredients for the Marinade:

  • 15-20 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Shaoxing rice wine

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp corn starch

Remaining Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups of canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup white pepper

Start by blending the garlic, ginger, soy sauce and wine. Blend until smooth. Add this to a sealable plastic bag or bowl, and toss in the chicken. Give it a good massage and this marinade at least one hour, but preferably longer.

When the chicken is done marinading, strain the marinade and get rid of rid. To another bowl, mix the flour and cornstarch. Add in the chicken pieces and get them nicely coated.  Let that sit for a bit while he heat up the oil.

Get the oil in a fry pot and bring this up to about 375 degrees.

Tawainese Fried Chicken Ingredients
Tawainese Fried Chicken Ingredients

Once the oil comes to temperature, add in bits of chicken being careful not to overcrowd, and depending on how big or small you cut these, they are only going to take a few minutes. Cook them until nice, golden and crispy, then remove with a spider or slotted spoon and onto a paper towel lined plate. Season immediately with some of the white pepper, as well as some salt.

Repeat until the chicken is done cooking.

The last step before digging in is to make sure your basil is dry because you are going to fry it. For those who never have taken this step, it can be somewhat overwhelming because it will splatter and look like it might overflow, but only for a couple of seconds. Remove the basil after the sizzling has stopped and remove them with a slotted spoon.

Mix the sauce, then add this to a large skillet on medium heat. Stir to let the sauce thicken, then add in the chicken and lightly coat with the sauce.

Now it is time to plate. Add the chicken to a bowl or plate (sauce and all), shower with the shallots and top with the fried basil leaves.

Dig in and enjoy!

Mexican Shrimp and Fish Soup

I frequent a local Mexican Taqueria probably twice a week. Please don’t judge me. There is something about the vibe, the people, and the food that completes my day. I often kick myself when I leave from these lunch spots because I typically default to tacos. I love tacos, and again, please don’t judge me. But while I wait for my tacos, which doesn’t take long at all, I gaze at what others are ordering, and then I question my order. One particular week I was just stunned by this bowl of soup that a couple of locals ordered and I had to question my waitress as to what they ordered. As I always do, I make every attempt to use the Mexican language that I took for about 10 years of my life, and found out that it was a Mexican shrimp and fish soup.

Heck, I did not even pay attention to my tacos during my lunch. I was paying attention to the soup that these locals were slurping, and eating. They were pulling out whole, cooked, shrimp while at the same time slurping on this delicious broth and taking down tender vegetables. I was all over that stuff and decided to make this Mexican shrimp and fish soup for my weekly soup.

Mexican Fish and Shrimp Soup Recipe
Mexican Fish and Shrimp Soup Recipe

This soup reminds me of comfort and simplicity, and it is loaded with this awesome seafood flavor. It’s a true delight.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 6 Mexican pulla peppers, seeds and stems removed
  • 14 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • 3 whole carrots, cleaned and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 yukon gold potatoes, cleaned, and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 tilapia fillets
  • 15 whole shrimp, deveined
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Mexican rice, cooked (optional)
  • corn tortillas, warmed (optional)

The soup itself is really simple, but pretty complex in flavors. It actually reminds me of a mix between an Italian cioppino and a Mexican chicken tortilla soup and I love everything about those two!

Start by heating the oil in a soup pot on medium heat. Add in the onions and sweat those down for about 7 minutes, stirring along the way. Toss in the garlic and whole chilies. Give that another good stir, and cook for a few more minutes. Add in the fire roasted tomatoes, and about a cup of stock. Stir, then add this mixture to a blender.

Blend until smooth, and strain the mixture back into the soup pot. This will remove any of the chilies that did not blend.

Mexican Fish and Shrimp Soup Ingredients
Mexican Fish and Shrimp Soup Ingredients

Add in the carrots, potatoes, and fish fillets. Stir, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let this cook until the potatoes are slightly tender.

During this time, make the rice if you are going that route. I always see the locals at the Taqueria eating their soup with some rice, and warm tortillas. They know what’s up so that is the route that I take.

Once the potatoes are tender, add in the whole shrimp, shells and head. Yep, the whole thing. If you are not into that then by all means just use cleaned shrimp. I like the experience and flavor so I keep them whole, but clean them of their dirty vein before throwing them in.

Let those shrimp poach for a few minutes. They don’t take long. Then get your ladle out and get that soup into a bowl. Make sure you get everything. The fish will fall apart so don’t worry. Shower some fresh cilantro and lime juice on top, and serve alongside some hot Mexican rice, and get a few tortillas ready as well.  The result is a soup so comforting on a cool day. It’s really a perfect seafood soup and one that I was glad to gaze at during my lunch last week. I hope you enjoy!

Nueske’s DALT (Duck, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato) Sandwich

One of my favorite things to do on any given weekend is cooking for my family. It is something I look forward to, and as soon as my kids wake up and say good morning, I immediately question them with ‘what can I make you for breakfast?’. I await a challenge, hoping that someone might say ‘how about eggs benedict?‘ or ‘toad in a hole?‘. Nope. I get things like scrambled or sunny side up eggs with toast, or pancakes. Heck, I will even get excited if someone says waffles! I then make another attempt at lunch time. That’s when I got a sell from my wife. After we tried the Nueskes’s smoked duck breast the other week, I knew it would be perfect on a sandwich, and as I had that to use up along with a tomato and an avocado, well I knew exactly what I was going to propose to my wife for lunch. A loaded Duck, Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich!

Nueske's Smoked Duck Sandwich Recipe
Nueske’s Smoked Duck Sandwich Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 6 slices of Nueske’s Smoked Duck Breast, thinly sliced
  • 3 leaves of green leaf lettuce
  • 1 roma tomato (or whatever you have handy), sliced
  • 1 small avocado, sliced or scooped out
  • 1 butter bun, lightly toasted
  • 1 slice of provolone cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by having everything ready to layer in your sandwich. Heat a skillet on medium heat, and add in the canola oil.  Add the slices of smoked duck breast, moving them around the skillet, and sear for a couple of minutes on each side.

Take the bottom bun of your lightly toasted bun and layer on, or smear on the avocado. Season with a pinch of salt.

Nueske's Smoked Duck Sandwich Ingredients
Nueske’s Smoked Duck Sandwich Ingredients

Next layer on the slightly crispy Nueske’s smoked duck breast, provolone cheese, tomatoes (season with a bit of salt and pepper), then the stack of lettuce. Place on the top bun, and feel free to smash it slightly into shape.  You want mayo (I love it, my wife does not), feel free to slather it on the bun(s).

Now I knew this was going to be a phenomenal sandwich. How? Well in my book, nothing really beats a BLT, especially when you have great produce, but then I was introduced to the Nueske’s smoked duck breast and it was a total game changer. My wife who did not speak much during her lunch… well that is always a great indicator how awesome that sandwich was. Search for Nueske’s and stock up. I have never, ever been disappointed. Hope you enjoy!

Nueske's DALT (Duck, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato) Sandwich
Author: 
Recipe type: Sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 6 slices of Nueske’s Smoked Duck Breast, thinly sliced
  • 3 leaves of green leaf lettuce
  • 1 roma tomato (or whatever you have handy), sliced
  • 1 small avocado, sliced or scooped out
  • 1 butter bun, lightly toasted
  • 1 slice of provolone cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by having everything ready to layer in your sandwich. Heat a skillet on medium heat, and add in the canola oil. Add the slices of smoked duck breast, moving them around the skillet, and sear for a couple of minutes on each side.
  2. Take the bottom bun of your lightly toasted bun and layer on, or smear on the avocado. Season with a pinch of salt.
  3. Next layer on the slightly crispy Nueske’s smoked duck breast, provolone cheese, tomatoes (season with a bit of salt and pepper), then the stack of lettuce. Place on the top bun, and feel free to smash it slightly into shape. You want mayo (I love it, my wife does not), feel free to slather it on the bun(s).

 

Loaded Baked Potato Skin Nachos

The Super Bowl has passed, and to be honest I do not think that any one of us in my family actually cared. Sure, the boys said ‘I want the Patriots to go down!’ a few times that day, but the only thing I really cared about was what we were going to snack on. I am done asking, for the most part, what everyone would like to eat, and just lay things out. My menu was simple. Slow baked ribs that would be later fried and glazed, and loaded potato skins that would also be fried.

One of my top recipes is the loaded potato skins, and as I have made so many awesome variations of potato skins, there is one thing I have never done and that is to actually fry the skins. It’s a total game changer. Why? Well because you get a whole shell of that awesome crispy and crunchy texture, not just on the edges, but the entire shell. It’s almost chip like in texture, but with a bit, and just a bit of that creaminess from the potato.

Loaded Potato Skin Nachos
Loaded Potato Skin Nachos

As with any nacho, you load this as you darn well please, but for me, there was one ingredient that made this shine and that was crispy, Nueske’s smoked duck breast lardons.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of russet potatos, cleaned
  • 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Nueske’s smoked duck breast, cubed (or substitute bacon), and fried until slightly crisp
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz can of black olives, drained
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • sour cream, optional
  • avocado, sliced, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce
  • cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • shredded lettuce, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 cups of canola oil, 350 degrees

Again, you can build your nachos however you want. Add beans and tomatoes if you desire. Load these suckers up!

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Add the whole potatoes to a baking sheet. Use a fork and poke a few holes into each potato to allow steam to release while baking. Bake the potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven, and let them completely cool.

Once the potatoes have cooled, sliced them in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon and gently scoop out all of the potato into a bowl. I use all of the potato, add a bit of butter, salt, and milk and whip them up to mashed potatoes for another meal.

Once you have all of your skins ready, heat up a pot with the canola oil. Get the oil to 350 degrees on medium-high heat, and once you have your temperature, drop in about 7-8, or whatever can easily fit into the pot without crowding, and cook the skins for about 5-10 minutes or until you begin to see the interior of the skins get golden and nicely crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potato skins and place them on a paper towel lined plate to release any excess oil. Immediately season by showering the skins with salt. Taters need salt.

Ingredients for making Loaded Potato Skin Nachos
Ingredients for making Loaded Potato Skin Nachos

Repeat with the potato skins.

Add the skins to a oven safe baking pan, and begin adding cheese into each skin.

When all of the skins have finished cooking and the excess oil is removed and they are nicely salted, layer the potato skins onto the baking pan and continue to add cheese into each shell.

Keep the oil on the stove, and take the cubed Nueske’s smoked duck breast and add them to the oil. Get them lightly crisp, then the same process with the slotted spoon and place onto the paper lined plate.

Take those Nueske duck lardons and place a couple into each shell. If you are using bacon, cook until slightly crisp, then crumble and add that into each shell. Add the shallots into each shell, then place back into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted.

Remove the potato skins from the oven (do not devour), then decorate them with green onions, avocado, cilantro, serrano chilies, olives, hot sauce, and sour cream (or whatever you desire).

Loaded Potato Skin Nachos Recipe
Loaded Potato Skin Nachos Recipe

Plate and serve. You want to talk about an ultimate game day snack, this is the one! As much as we all love nachos, this loaded potato skin nacho recipe is really, really hard to beat. It’s everything you love about a nacho but in a crispy potato skin boat! Hope you enjoy!