Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ancho Chile Chicken Fingers & Ancho Chile Cheddar Biscuits

This evening I decided to make Ancho Chile Chicken Fingers as well as Ancho Chile Cheddar Biscuits. I made the oven-fried chicken fingers by using boneless chicken breasts. I cut each of the 3 chicken breasts into 3 strips lengthwise and placed them in a small shallow casserole dish and submerged them in about 1 cup of buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon of ground Ancho Chile Pepper, salt and pepper. I let the chicken strips marinate in the spiced buttermilk for about 1 hour while I mixed together the coating mixture and made the biscuits.

For the seasoned coating mix, I used about 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup golden ground flax, 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese and added 1 teaspoon ground Ancho Chile Pepper (from McCormick's "Gourmet Collection") , paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper (I just shook in the last few spices and didn't measure them). I rolled the buttermilk coated chicken strips in the coating mixture and placed them on a foil covered baking sheet brushed with olive oil.  I baked them at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then flipped them over and baked another 10 to 12 minutes until they were done.

These turned out very tasty but did not get as crisp as they would have if browned in a pan on the stove. I decided to keep the same theme with the biscuits and added Ancho Chile Pepper to them as well. When making almond flour based biscuits, I have made them both with and without using an egg. While eggs are not typical ingredients for biscuits, I find that if you want your biscuits to bind together better and be less crumbly, the addition of an egg helps a lot. You can actually slice them in half crosswise without them breaking if you want to. It just makes them less fragile. I like them made both ways, but depending on what you are using them for, you may want to add the egg in order to be able to make little biscuit sandwiches, etc. I have also made biscuits by tamping them down to flatten a little as well as without flattening them at all. I like them better when not tamped down because they can sometimes get too thin since they spread a little while baking. It's really a matter of personal preference. To serve alongside our chicken fingers and biscuits, I made a quick chopped salad. It was a tasty meal. The ground Ancho Chile Pepper is much less spicy/hot than the ground Chipotle Chile Pepper when using the same measurement. It is more of a subtle smoky pepper flavor. I snapped a couple photos below as well as the recipe for the Ancho Chile Cheddar Biscuits. Enjoy!


I kept the biscuits in round balls instead of tamping down before baking

Ancho Chile Cheddar Biscuits


2 cups blanched almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or Celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Ancho Chile Pepper
2 tablespoons chilled butter, small diced
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place flour, baking powder, soda, salt and Ancho Chile Pepper in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to mix well.  Add diced chilled butter and 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Using a pastry cutter, quickly cut butter and cheese into dry ingredients until it appears crumbly.  Stir in the remaining shredded cheese and make a well in the center of the mixture; add buttermilk and egg and stir to mix well.  The dough will be thick and somewhat stiff and slightly fluffy.   On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, use a cookie scoop or retractable ice cream scoop to make 8 equal sized mounds of dough, spaced evenly apart.  Don't tamp down mounds of dough, they will spread slightly as they bake.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown.  Makes 8 medium sized biscuits.


No comments: