This week’s recipe is unique for a couple reasons. First, it is the result of collaboration with my new friends at American Kitchen Cookware, who sent me a set of their American-made cast aluminum cookware to test and share with you folks – be sure to keep scrolling for more info on their products, and a giveaway for a set of your own.
The second reason this recipe is unique is because it is actually two dishes in one. Both the Boneless Fried Chicken and Carolina Shrimp Bog would be excellent on their own, but a) I wanted to highlight two distinct pieces of cookware, and b) I was drawn to the challenge of writing you through the process of building two dishes at once. Crafting a single recipe is relatively easy, but balancing multiple dishes to create one whole meal is more reflective of how most of us spend time in the kitchen; I hope this week’s recipe will give you some insight into how I tackle multiple tasks simultaneously.
When it comes to frying chicken, I’ve made a few breakthroughs over the years, and this Boneless Fried Chicken is like a culmination of those efforts. To start, we’re going to use the seasoning I developed in last year’s Seasoned Southern Fried Chicken recipe, which has a flavor not unlike what you’d find from Colonel Sander’s secret 11 herbs and spices. Next, we’re going to use boneless thighs to speed up the cooking process. Finally, we’re going to use a traditional 3-step breading for the chicken, but with potato starch, eggs, and crushed pork rinds for the different coatings – a technique I use in my Tonkatsu/Chicken Katsu recipes in Paleo Takeout – which gives the chicken a crispy crust and unforgettable bite.
Joining the chicken is Shrimp Bog, a simple, thick Southern stew of rice, veggies, and (you guessed it) shrimp. While “Bog” isn’t the most appealing word to describe food, it is a little fitting, since this dish is a more liquidy version of another Carolina staple, Perloo (which is sometimes spelled Purloo, Perlo, Poilu, or Pilau – the latter definitely linked to its Pilaf origins). In the Carolinas, these two dishes were traditionally made with Carolina-grown rice, which fell out of favor as other Southern rices dominated our grocery shelves over the past couple centuries. Recently, Carolina Gold heirloom rice has been making a bit of a comeback among foodies and historians (here is an excellent writeup), and for good reason – the rice is creamy and nutty in a way that’s seldom found in long-grain rices – well worth the extra expense to try it once, if only to experience a bit of American history.
I had recently noticed my friend and fellow cookbook author Jenni Hulet using American Kitchen Cookware products on her Instagram page, so I was excited when the company contacted me (at Jenni’s suggestion, no less). American Kitchen is the premium brand of parent company Regal Ware, who has been manufacturing cookware since 1911. Handcrafted in West Bend, Wisconsin, their cookware is made in small batches with responsibly-sourced stainless steel and aluminum, and engineered for performance and durability.
Personally, I was interested in trying American Kitchen’s thick-cast aluminum pieces, and their PFOA-free nonstick coating, so I grabbed their 12-inch Cast Aluminum Sauté Pan and 5-quart Cast Aluminum Dutch Oven.
In hand, the cookware just feels American, with its hefty handles and utilitarian balance. In particular, I appreciated their glass covers, which allowed me to peek at the food without having to lift the lid (both the cookware and lids are oven safe to 400F, as well). The Sauté Pan turned out to be the perfect depth for pan-frying or searing foods, so I used it when crafting the Boneless Fried Chicken recipe below. Similarly, the Dutch Oven was well-suited for a rice dish, since I could monitor the rice without disturbing the cooking environment.
American Kitchen Cookware was kind enough to allow me to give away a set of their Sauté Pan and Dutch Oven (a $319.98 value) for you folks. CLICK HERE to enter – please note that the giveaway is limited to US residents, and I will randomly select a winner once the giveaway ends on April 10th.
Boneless Fried Chicken with Carolina Shrimp Bog (Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet)
Boneless Fried Chicken:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (8 thighs total)
1/2 cup potato starch (cassava flour, tapioca starch, or arrowroot starch okay)
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch of dried thyme
4 eggs, beaten
2 large (~3oz) bags of pork rinds (about 3 cups crushed)
1/2 cup lard, avocado oil, or coconut oil, for frying
Carolina Shrimp Bog:
1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage (andouille preferred)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup long-grain white rice (Carolina Gold rice preferred)
4 cups chicken broth or shellfish stock
1/2 tsp black pepper, more to taste
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 lb raw shrimp
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, more to taste
salt to taste
chopped parsley to garnish
1. Prepare the chicken for frying. Pat the chicken thighs dry then set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the potato starch, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, sage, basil, ginger, cloves, and thyme. In another wide, shallow bowl, add the beaten eggs. Crush the pork rinds using a food processor or by transferring them to a re-sealable plastic bag and rolling them with a rolling pin, then transfer them to a third wide, shallow bowl. Place the lard in a large skillet then keep warm over low heat and preheat your oven to 170F as you start the Shrimp Bog.
2. Start the Carolina Shrimp Bog. Warm the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, then add the sausage, and sauté until very crisp, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. To economize my time, I prepared and chopped my veggies as the sausage sautéed. Once the sausage is cooked, scoop it out with a slotted spoon and set aside; you should have a good 2-3 tbsp of cooking fat left in the dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes, then add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and bay leaf. Sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds, then add the rice; stir to coat, then add the broth, black pepper, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer then cover and reduce heat to low; gently simmer for 18 minutes without removing the lid or stirring. As it cooks, start frying the chicken.
3. Fry the chicken. Increase the skillet heat to medium. To bread the chicken, dust a thigh in the potato starch mixture, then dredge in the eggs, then coat with the crushed pork rinds and transfer to the skillet. Repeat this process until you have filled the skillet (3-4 thighs should do it). Pan-fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side, turning every 2 minutes. Place the cooked chicken on a plate lined with paper towels, then transfer to the oven to keep warm as you prepare your next batch(es).
4. Finish the Carolina Shrimp Bog. Remove the lid and stir in the shrimp and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to sit (covered) for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauté to taste, then add parsley to garnish and serve with the fried chicken.
** Note that I didn’t include salt in the potato starch mixture, because most pork rinds are already salted, and there’s nothing worse than over-salting food. I recommend you taste your first batch of fried chicken to determine if you need to add a bit of salt to the potato starch mixture (and you can always sprinkle a bit of salt on that first batch if it needs a bit more flavor).
Look at that crust!