crunchy oven-fried chicken for dad (and legit honey mustard)

DAIRY-FREE | GLUTEN-FREE | DELICIOUS

Father’s Day is this Sunday! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be with my daddy, but luckily we got some time together last weekend at our favorite spot: the lake. My dad grew up on the water in Poland (sailing in the summers, hockey in the winters) and I grew up in the water (bathtubs, pools, fountains), so there’s no better place for us to catch up. We spent the weekend as we usually do at the lake: grilling, waterskiing, cruising around on the boat, and watching movies we’ve seen dozens of times (Nachooooooooo!).

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a couple of fishing poles (get it?)

We ended the weekend with a tour of my mom’s garden (where my dad has taken on the role of “indentured servant”). It’d probably be more accurate to call it their garden.

like father, like son

I’m pretty sure we have the love language  of quality time in common. I also have recently realized that we’re both introverts. Spending time together can involve sitting in the chairs on the porch at the cabin and reading quietly together with a glass of wine. It’s very peaceful.

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We always say that I’m the “son” of the family — dad and I are the boys of the house. My mom and sister are enough girl for the 3 of us, and my dad always needed help with “dirty work” so I took on that role. I’m realizing that I’m really starting to take after my father’s logical, efficient approach to life. He’s a ninja. A real Chuck Norris, if you will. He’s also completely selfless — giving us everything in the world and doing nothing for himself. He spends his free time planning family vacations, taking excellent care of the dogs, and working in the garden.

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This is why, when I’m home, I like to treat him with foods that he wouldn’t usually otherwise get to eat. I’m very grateful that in the last few years, he’s dramatically cleaned up his diet (from his Backyard Burger habits of old) — he and my mom basically eat fish or chicken, salads, fruit, and rice — so I don’t feel guilty bringing Nashville’s best baguettes or a tray of frozen homemade pierogi for him to enjoy. You’re #worthit homie!

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indulging in seven rounds of tacos al pastor… when in Mexico, am I right?

I haven’t made this crunchy chicken recipe for him yet, but it’s definitely going to be added into the rotation. Although my dad didn’t grow up on Southern fried chicken, he did grow up on schabowy, which is the Polish equivalent of schnitzel, which is essentially breaded, fried pork/chicken — so I think he’d like it. ❤

this crunchy-licious chicken

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I’ve been searching forever for a breaded chicken recipe that had crunch and flavor, but was not deep-fried (and, ideally, also gluten-free). What an ask! I know.

But guys, I think I found it — with this 3-step breading process, you achieve the crunchiest crunch without a fryer:

  • Dredge in blanched almond meal
  • Dip in a mixture of eggs, almond milk, hot sauce
  • Dip in a coating of gluten-free panko, salt, cayenne, and black pepper

Then, bake on a baking/cooling rack so you get 360-degree crunchiness (instead of a soggy bottom).

So instead of a cheesy, totally lame tie, treat your dad to this absolutely delicious homemade meal: crunchy oven-fried chicken, homemade honey mustard, and his favorite sides (I’d recommend these potatoes and these greens).

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk if you do dairy)
  • 2-3 tbsp. hot sauce (I like Frank’s)
  • 2-3 cups blanched almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2-3 cups gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Prepare your baking tray: Lay a metal baking rack on top of a baking sheet.
  3. Prepare your stations! In one bowl, place the almond flour. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, hot sauce, and milk. In a third bowl, place breadcrumbs and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Coat your chicken: One piece at a time, coat each thigh with almond flour, dip fully into the egg mixture (shake off the excess), then coat in the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Lay each prepared chicken thigh on the baking rack.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until coating is golden and crunchy and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

extremely legit honey mustard

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This tastes like the stuff that’s bad for you but really yummy (except this version isn’t that bad for you). In a small bowl, combine:

This tastes like that liquid gold you might have eaten at your favorite chicken place:

  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (high-quality — I like Sir Kensington’s, which is made with sunflower oil and free-range eggs)
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • pinch of cayenne

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