paleo fried chicken

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*one aspect of my amazing job is that i have the privilege of working with amazing middle and high school kids from the inner city. we are currently in the process of making a documentary film about meat: where it comes from, how it impacts our health, who gets to access grass-fed meat and who only has access to conventionally-raised factory-farmed meat, and what the health benefits are  to eating one over the other. we spent a lot of time talking about what we eat, why we eat it, where it comes from. i’ve learned so much about my girls–what they love to eat, their community connections to food, why they love the food they do, why the are frustrated with what they are given in their school cafeteria (and how it’s not real food).

*they get really excited when i tell them i’m going to bring in food for them to try that they’ve never had before. over the last 4 weeks, i’ve brought in: 7 different types of oranges (i was giddy so many of them loved my favorite blood oranges); alternative milks (they loved coconut, almond and rice milks–hated soy and hemp milk); nut butters (loved peanut and almond butter–hated sun butter–cashew butter was kinda iffy); 4 different kinds of pears (they loved asian pears–one of my favs).

*when we talk about foods they love to eat, they always talk about fried chicken. these ladies love fried chicken. if i could eat their moms’ cooking, i swear i would be in for a treat because each girl swears her mom makes the best fried chicken in the city.

*i’ve had fried chicken maybe 1-2 times in my life. i had KFC once when i was in middle school. i don’t recall a single time my mother made fried chicken. my dad likes to grill chicken, but it was never breaded. i feel like i really missed out on something here.

*when i found this recipe, i was really excited: here’s my chance to try fried chicken!  i can’t wait to tell my girls about this recipe this week. i’m actually hoping i find a way to make it for them. they all know about my digestive issues and ask me a lot of questions about what i can and can’t eat and why. when we watched Soul Food Junkies last week, they were super excited when i made them air popped popcorn with olive oil. they could not get over how much they liked it more than microwave buttery popcorn. given my food journey and my commitment to food justice (more on that some time), this was an awesome moment for me: talking with teenagers about butter verses olive oil and what’s healthier and why was a highlight of my week. (one of the main reasons i love my job!)

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*what i loved about this recipe is that even though the chicken is fried in coconut oil, there was nothing coconutty about the flavor: with all the spices (i went heavy on those) and the almond flour, i didn’t even taste any coconut, which kinda gave me some perspective–because some times i think that cooking with so much coconut oil will mean only tasting coconut in everything i make, which isn’t really what i’m aiming for. (had a summer when i cooked everything, including eggs, with coconut oil. couldn’t take it anymore.)

*i think i might be sold on fried chicken. paleo style.

 

 



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