Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Organic Gluten Free Low GI Double Down Insanity

Unless you are very lucky or have been living under a rock you may have heard of the new sandwich Kentucky Fried Chicken recently released called the Double Down.  It is two breaded chicken patties (or you can get the grilled version if you're watching your girlish figure), bacon, cheese, and the frightening sounding Colonel's sauce which is basically spicy mayo.  No bun, no bread, instead it gets wrapped up in a baggy so the copious amounts of grease don't roll down your sleeve.  Sounds great, right?

It has been impossible to ignore especially as a serious foodie.  At least once a day someone is talking (okay usually rending their hair at the creation's ick factor) about this sandwich.  The Jamie Olivers of the world are declaring it the food equivalent of the apocalypse and basically acting like it will be the down fall of civilization.  While the Anthony Bourdains shrug at its impressive caloric content while admitting that it kind of looks like it would be fun to try just once.

I fall somewhere in the middle.  It is a rather unnecessary calorie bomb and the world doesn't really need another bit of junk food.  On the other hand people already eat crap and this actually isn't near to the worst thing you can get in the world of fast food.  Its kind of impressive actually how much press this silly breadless sandwich has gotten and though they are a bit late to the trend it was nice to see a low carb option being marketed.

But mostly I'm just sick of hearing about it.  So after an acquaintance of mine ate one and lived to write about it I decided I would make a Double Down that I could eat.  It would be my protest against fast food to try to make a less coronary inducing version of this monstrosity.  The joke was on me however.  By trying the old low carb meat dredging trick of substituting ground nuts for breading  I may have actually made a sandwich even worse for you than the original.  Now that is impressive!

I did however make it will all organic and gluten free ingredients which is not something you are ever going to find in a fast food restaurant any time soon.  So with that small victory I will admit the most embarrassing part of this whole qualifier heavy post is this... 

This was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten!

There I admitted it and as an proponent of healthy eating I shall now hang my head in shame.  The thing is though, Michael Pollan is right, if you are going to eat something this bad for you then you should make it for yourself for two reasons.  One is you can control the quality of the ingredients, limit the calories where possible and if you have to take the time to prepare it you can't impulse eat it.  And secondly after you learn what goes into certain things and how gross and greasy they are you will never ever want to put them in your mouth again.

For example I decided to make homemade mayonnaise for this recipe because I never had before and didn't want to buy a tub of it at the store.  Like so many things Julie Child makes it sound so freaking easy.  This woman had to have the arms of an ox because halfway through the process the fella and I were all out of arm strength in all of our combined appendages.  And after whipping a cup and a half of oil into two egg yolks I realized how sickening mayonnaise is, now that I really truly know what goes into it I have no desire to ever consume it again. 

Which is how I ended up feeling about this entire experiment; it was a fun adventure but I will never do it again.  In fact if I had to suggest to someone how to make a less evil Double Down I would say add some cayenne to the breading, skip the bacon and go light on the cheese.  The mayo and the bacon added nothing to the sandwich.  I know, its blasphemy to speak poorly of bacon but hear me out. 

The fake KFC seasoning mixed in with the ground pecans were what really made this a treat.  That was the truly delicious part and the copy cat blend of spices did taste amazingly like how I remember the real Kentucky Fried Chicken tasting.  So I would perhaps bread chicken that way again in the future.  The other crazy piles of stuff on this sandwich and the extra chicken breast are really just for show.  And it succeeded, we now how far KFC is willing to go to get press.  It worked, we're talking about them, even I gave in to the trend.  Darn it.

Organic Gluten Free Low GI Double Down Insanity

1 cup finely ground pecans
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon dried powdered rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried powdered thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 egg 
1/4 cup rice flour
2 large chicken breasts
4 tablespoons oil

4 pieces of cooked bacon
4 slices of cheese (I used organic goat "cheddar")
2 tablespoons of spicy mayo (recipe to follow)

Using a spice or coffee grinder, finely chop the pecans.  They will turn wet and sticky very quickly while being ground so make sure to watch their consistency so that you don't end up with pecan butter.  Also use the grinder to powder any of the spices that aren't already ground.  Mix the spices and the ground pecans in a shallow bowl.

Whisk the egg in another shallow bow and set aside.  Place the rice flour in yet another shallow bowl.

Using a mallet pound the chicken breasts until they are an even thickness, about 1/4 inch.  You should have two very large mostly flat chicken breasts.  Cut each into 2 equal sized pieces so that you now have four pieces of thin chicken breast.

Warm the oil over medium high heat in a non-stick pan while you batter the chicken.  First dust the chicken breast with the rice flour.  Next coat the chicken in the egg.  Lastly dredge the chicken in the pecan and spice mixture until well coated.  When the oil is warm pan fry each piece of chicken, trying to avoid burning the pecan coating by flipping the chicken often and keeping the temperature low.  Cook until the inside of the breasts are cooked through then set aside.

Place two chicken breasts on a plate to beginning assembling the sandwich. Place two slices of bacon and  2 pieces of cheese on one of the chicken breasts and 1 tablespoon of the mustard on the other breast.  Fit the two prepared chicken breasts together like a sandwich.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make the second sandwich.

Copycat KFC seasonings from this website.

Spicy Mayo

1/4 mayo (make your own or from a jar if you like)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika 

In a small bowl mix everything together well.

No comments: