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Video: Tropical twist on soul-food classic

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    >> "today" on nbc.

    >>> this morning a tropical twist on a chicken classic. we are fixing up fried chicken and potatoes salad with coconut and rum. hot chef from the food drinks and rock and roll live.

    >> good to see you, man.

    >> where did this idea come from?

    >> i'm a southern boy. florida is the south, by the way. i wanted to do an old school traditional fried chicken with fun, different ingredients. i love pina coladas . we have chicken here. the key is to marinate. use a plastic bag and throw in chicken tenders , because i think they fry better. you can use chicken on the bone, too. this is coconut cream .

    >> what is that?

    >> it's not coconut milk . it's more dense. taste it. it's like a burst of flavor, right?

    >> kind of like a condensed sweetened co oconut milk.

    >> intense flavor. we'll marinate it like this overnight. five, six hours at the minimum. once they're finished they come out looking like this. we dip in a little bit of egg. you do fried chicken ?

    >> oh, sure.

    >> little bit of egg. little bit of flour. season the flour, too.

    >> dredge it with --

    >> give it a nice crust. nice and easy, fluffy. the sweetness is very subtle and beautiful. 365-degree oil.

    >> what kind of oil?

    >> this is vegetable oil . they will get golden, crispy and beautiful. this is what they look like. so you have beautiful fried chicken bits. fantastic. we have potato salad . the trick in my opinion is i will keep the skins on these red bliss potatoes. start with cold water , then potatoes and then boil them.

    >> why coldle water?

    >> we want the skins intact. check it out. they come out and the skins are completely intact. then you can slice them and the skin stays beautiful. it doesn't peel off.

    >> that's great.

    >> so we slice them into wedges just like so. very simple. we'll make a vinaigrette.

    >> what's in the vinaigrette?

    >> we mentioned pina colada . all the ingredients are broken up and distributed through the dish.

    >> so you do like pina coladas ? how about being lost in the rain?

    >> we have red bell pepper , rum, love that.

    >> dark, light?

    >> i like dark rum . a little bit of salt and pepper . we have agave. that's beautiful. it's a little bit sweeter than honey. great flavor. chopped garlic. red wine vinegar . throw that in there. whole grain mustard. love it in a vinaigrette. olive oil . you can use coconut oil or any oil. chopped garlic. go for it.

    >> oops. dropped the whole thing in there.

    >> that's pretty much the whole vinaigrette.

    >> whisk and --

    >> we're making pina coladas with red wine vinegar .

    >> great.

    >> super simple, super easy. beautiful.

    >> very light.

    >> you can garnish with limes.

    >> limes and cilantro. the salad is nice. the chicken was marinated in coconut cream and has the sweetness.

    >> crunchy and light. it's not the eh fried batter.

    >> it's really good.

    >> try the vinaigrette.

    >> fantastic. so different than the mayonnaise.

    >> you don't think about rum and vinegar together. it's great.

    >> chef, thank you very much.

    >> thank you.

    >> coming up, we have more

TODAY recipes
updated 2/7/2011 5:54:35 AM ET 2011-02-07T10:54:35

Recipe: Coconut fried chicken with a rum and lime potato salad

  • Coconut chicken
  • 8 chicken tenders, boneless
  • 1 12-ounce can coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Potato salad
  • 4-5 Red Bliss potatoes (about 3 cups)
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 a red onion, small dice
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 wedges of lime
  • A few sprigs of fresh cilantro

Place the chicken and coconut cream in a sealable plastic bag, squeeze all of the air out and seal. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.

In a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with water. Place on the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender (about 15 to 20 minutes), then drain and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add lime juice, vinegar, oil, cilantro, agave, red onion, bell pepper, mustard, garlic, rum, coconut flakes, and coconut cream with some salt and pepper. Mix ingredients to incorporate.

Once the potatoes are cool, delicately cut them into wedges (be careful to keep the skin intact for presentation). Place the cut potatoes into a sealable plastic bag and cover with rum and lime vinaigrette. Place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Add the vegetable oil to a large deep pot over medium heat and bring up to 365 degrees. Beat the egg in a bowl. Add flour to a separate bowl with some salt and pepper. (Be sure to season the flour.) Remove the chicken pieces from the coconut cream and dip into the egg, then dredge in the flour. Be gentle and toss the chicken pieces to coat on all sides with the flour.

Using a pair of metal tongs, add the coated chicken pieces to the hot oil. Make sure you don't overfill the pot or the chicken will stick together. Once the chicken is finished and beautifully golden (about 4-6 minutes), remove from the oil and place on a few sheets of paper towel to drain the excess oil. Season with salt and pepper if you like additional seasoning.

To plate, add a bit of the potato salad to the plate and drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the top, add the crispy fried chicken over the top and garnish with a wedge of fresh lime and cilantro.

Serving Size

Serves 4

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