Crunchy Merguez Chicken
This is a Spanish take on Togarashi fried chicken. It uses Merguez spice instead of Japanese Togarashi spice. The chicken is briefly sautéed and then baked until supremely crunchy making it much healthier than traditional fried chicken. This chicken stays crunchy longer too! Serves 4 to 6
- 1 roasting chicken, cut into 8 parts
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Merguez spice
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 egg whites, beaten until smooth
- 2 cups panko Japanese bread crumbs
- Extra virgin olive oil
1. Rub the chicken pieces evenly with Merguez spice and salt. Place in zip lock bag overnight.
2. The next day remove the chicken from the bag 2 hours before cooking and place on a rack on top of a sheet pan to drain. Refrigerate.
3. Preheat oven to 350F.
4. To bread the chicken place the flour, egg whites and panko in separate pie plates or similar shallow dishes. Roll each piece of chicken in flour, shake, dip in egg white, dip in panko and roll to coat well. Pieces of chicken can be placed back on the rack and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before cooking. Leave them unwrapped so they don’t becomes soggy.
5. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan liberally. Add 4 pieces of chicken skin side down and brown lightly. Add more olive oil if the pan becomes dry. Turn over and brown lightly on other side. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
6. Bake the chicken in the oven for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Serve hot or chill and serve cold for a picnic.
NOTE: You can happily use a purchased Merguez spice blend or make one of your own. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU USE A FLAKED KOSHER SALT SUCH AS DIAMOND CRYSTAL. If you use regular table salt the recipes will turn out too salty.