Which is kind of what happened here. I was trying to make tempura batter. I failed. I ended up with something too substantial, too stuck on to the meat. Something which failed to be fragile and sparkling. I did not make tempura bites.
I made chicken nuggets. I took them to a party and they were gone.
This was huge for us since the only major gluten free brand of chicken nuggets or fingers coats them instead in corn which meant that for us at least chicken nuggets and chicken fingers were out of the question. Plus most of them do not taste good.
Which is insane because gluten-free flours should be an improvement. Japanese chefs actually prefer rice or special low gluten flours because gluten makes fried flour chewy (think funnel cakes). So I personally think this is better than the normal chicken fingers. Its also MSG free.
The following recipe is adapted from a chicken tempura recipe done by Emeril Lagasse. And when I say adapted I mean that I changed every single ingredient except for the egg and the cold water. But I got the proportions from him, and he inspired me.
One word of warning. I have testing this on a few different gluten-free flour blends. Some are still rather thick after one cup of water. You may need to add more water, up to a second cup of water. You want something about the consistency of pancake batter.
1 cup gluten free corn free flour blend (I used one from Trader Joe’s)
Potato or tapioca starch (potato works better, tapioca can get soggy and rubbery)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup very cold water
two teaspoons baking powder
Sunflower or safflower oil for frying.
Deep fryer or small pot with tall sides
Measuring cups and spoons
Tongs for removing chicken
Fork for dipping chicken in oil
Bowl for holding starch
Bowl for mixing and holding batter
Plate for holding cooked chicken
Take the bowl that you will later use for coating the chicken and mix the garlic powder, salt, pepper, baking powder and flour in there with a fork.
Take the chicken and cut it into whatever size chunks you want. I happen to like chicken fingers but you can also do cutlets or nuggets. Actually I get my chicken precut into fingers so that I can skip that step.
In the larger batter bowl mix the egg and the ice water thoroughly.
Add the flour mixture and then combine mixing until you get pancake batter. You don’t need to worry about over mixing because there is no gluten so the batter cannot get tough. You do however want it to stay cold. I have been known to add ice cubes to the batter to thin it a bit.
Put the potato starch or tapioca in the bowl you just used for the flour.
Put the oil on high heat
Coat the chicken with the starch shaking off excess.
When the oil is hot, dip the chicken in the batter and then using a fork drop it into the oil. It will bubble up and sizzle a bit.
Keep dipping and putting the chicken in the oil, until your pot is well used but not crowded.
After a few minutes flip the chicken to fry it on the other side.
When it is golden brown (time will vary based on the size of your chicken pieces) pick it up with the tongs and let the oil drip back into the pan.
Put the chicken on a rack to cool.
Serve immediately…or freeze
If you want to freeze the chicken
Take cooled chicken and put a few pieces so that they are not touching at all on a baking sheet (or a plate) and freeze it Then, when the chicken is frozen, put the pieces in a ziploc bag. Then the next time you need a fast dinner, just put the frozen chicken into a pan, with the pieces not touching and bake it at 400 degrees farenheit until it sizzles in the pan and some more oil comes off the chicken (you can cook it with frozen french fries, just start the chicken first.