Southern Quinoa-Crusted Chicken with Potato and Greens

Southern Quinoa Chicken

I have to say, when I got my latest culinary challenge, I was a bit stumped: make a dish that includes quinoa, eggs, leeks and whiskey.

They’re great ingredients, and each pair well it other in the group, but trying to put ALL of them into one dish was giving me chef’s block (a lesser known condition similar to writers block. It’s a thing.)

With some tricky uses of both eggs and quinoa, I managed to get all four into this recipe. And boy, am I glad that I did.

The flavors in this dish are absolutely dynamite. The chicken itself is smokey and spicy with hints of whiskey, while the crust retains much of the quinoa taste. Pairing it with leafy greens and earthy potatoes brings a delightful balance to the plate.

Not only is it balanced in flavor, but it’s balanced in texture as well. The contrast between the tender greens, crispy potatoes, and pan-seared, quinoa-crusted chicken adds a whole extra dimension to the dish.

On top of everything else, it’s actually reasonably healthy.

This was my first real foray into southern-style cooking. I’m sure purists would shudder at inclusion of this dish in their cuisine, but I thought it turned out reasonably well. Expect some more southern recipes in the future!

Southern Quinoa-Crusted Chicken with Potato and Greens

Chicken Marinade

  • 10 chicken tenders
  • 1 1/2 cups whiskey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 5 dried chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Other Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of collard greens (kale can be used as a substitute)
  • 1/2 cup leeks, diced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, whisked together
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked and drained
  • 1 large russet potato, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons paparika
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine all the marinade ingredients and chicken. Let sit for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Heat a skilled to medium-low and add the collard greens, leeks, vegetable stock, red onion, garlic powder and black pepper. Saute until cooked but not soggy, about 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and pat dry. Arrange three separate bowls with flour, whisked eggs, and quinoa.
  4. Heat a second skillet to medium-high and add enough olive oil to create a thin layer throughout the pan. Working in batches, coat the chicken tenders in flour, then egg, then quinoa and place in the hot pan. Cook each for 4-5 minutes on each side so that the tenders are cooked through and the quinoa crust is crispy and browned. Remove each from heat and set on a paper towel to drain.
  5. Once all the chicken is cooked, add a fresh drizzle of olive oil and pan-fry the potato slices until they are golden and crispy, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  6. Remove the chili peppers from the marinade. Pour the liquid into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until reduced to 1/3 the volume.
  7. To serve, add a heaping spoonful of stewed greens, a layer of sliced potato, and a quinoa-crusted chicken tender. Top with a drizzle of the whiskey-chili sauce.
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