Latke-Encrusted Chicken and Apples
Matt and I love being creative in the kitchen. One thing we especially love to do is take existing recipes and turn them into something more exciting, making them our own in the process. This recipe for what we’ve ended up calling “Latke Chicken” is one of those recipes — it’s a dish that can bring the warmth of the Hanukkah lights into your home all year long, taking inspiration from classic latkes and applesauce, a traditional Hanukkah treat, to create a complete meal.
Although it’s one of the most visible Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is actually considered a very minor festival. For those who aren’t familiar with Hanukkah, which begins each year on the 25th day of Kislev (usually somewhere in November or December), it’s a holiday that commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Greeks.
As the story also goes, a great miracle happened at this time. One of the centerpieces of the Temple was the Menorah, a seven-pronged candelabra which was always supposed to be kept lit. Although there was only enough oil left in the Temple to keep the Menorah lit for one more day, the story goes that it kept burning for eight whole days, giving the Jews enough time to get more. Hence, the eight day festival of Hanukkah, on which we commemorate the miracle by lighting menorot (sometimes called hanukkiyot, singular hanukkiyah, to distinguish them from the one that’s supposed to be in the temple) of our own and eating a lot of fried food, like latkes.
Anyway, without further ado, here is our recipe. Let me know if you try it out, Matt and I would love to see your own take on it. A great plus for it is that the recipe can easily be made gluten-free by replacing the initial dredging through the flour with more latke mix or your favorite gluten-free flour, and you can add any seasoning you like to the flour or latke mix for a more flavorful chicken. I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 lb. boneless chicken tenders
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Macintosh apples, peeled, cored & sliced
- ½ Vidalia onion, diced
- 1 package potato pancake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 quarts warm water
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp thyme
- Pour 1 quart of water into a large container. Add ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, ⅓ cup white sugar, and ¼ cup kosher salt. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Pour the remaining quart of water into another large container. Add ⅓ cup white sugar, ⅓ cup dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp cinnamon, and 1 tbsp nutmeg. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Add the chicken tenderloins to the brine prepared in step one and the apple slices to the marinade prepared in step two. Cover and refrigerate both for half an hour.
- Prepare three shallow bowls. Place all-purpose flour into the first. Crack the eggs into the second and beat them. Into the third, place the potato pancake mix, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Mix well. This time when the chicken and apples are marinating is also an excellent opportunity to dice your onion.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Dredge the chicken tenders well in the flour, shaking well to discard excess flour. Dip the chicken into the egg and then dredge a second time in the potato pancake mix. Set the chicken aside to rest for approx. 5 minutes.
- Place the olive oil into a large skillet and allow to heat up on medium-high heat. Sear the chicken tenders for 3-4 minutes on each side until a delicious brown.
- Place the chicken tenders in a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add in the apples around the chicken and drizzle the onions generously over top.
- Top with thyme and drizzle with some of the cinnamon apple marinade.
- Bake 30 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165° F. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.