I have been on an Asian food kick recently, but taking the easy way out by partaking in mostly carry out varieties. When I found this recipe, it persuaded me to attempt some recipes at home.
This recipe would pair well with a bright, fruit-forward New-World style Viognier.
Ginger & Orange Fried Chicken
12 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons grated orange zest
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
Salt and freshly ground black peper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Canola oil for frying
* Cut away the tendons from the chicken breasts and discard.
* Lightly pound the chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap to a uniform thickness.
* In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk with the orange zest and fresh ginger and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. (Buttermilk and ginger have a tenderizing effect, so be careful not to marinate the chicken too long or it will become mushy).
* Combine the flour, curry powder, ground ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cayenne pepper in a large bowl or paper bag.
* In a large, deep frying pan or skillet, pour the oil to a depth of 3 inches and heat to 365 degrees.
* Remove the chicken breasts from the buttermilk and shake off the excess liquid. One at a time, dredge the pieces in the seasoned flour or place them in the paper bag and shake them to coat.
* Fry until golden brown, turning once, 4 to 6 minutes per side. If the chicken is browning too quickly, lower the heat. Transfer the fried chicken to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Serve warm.
Ginger shows well with Viognier and this is a great example of that pairing. The fruit-forward wine has enough acidity to counter the richness of deep frying and the salt.
Recommended Viognier Producers:
Everyday: Callaway Coastal (multiple appellations, California), Pepperwood Grove (multiple appellations, California), Cline (Sonoma County, California)
Premium: Stags’ Leap Winery (Napa Valley, California), Sobon Estate (Sierra Foothills, California), Kunde (Sonoma County, California)
Splurge: Newton (Napa Valley, California), Joseph Phelps (Napa Valley, California), Cold Heaven (Southern Central Coast, California)