MY HAWAIIAN KITCHEN
Delectable memoirs of living on the slopes of Mt. Hualalai high above the famed Kona Coast on the beguiling Big Island of Hawaii.
Possibly the crispiest, crunchiest oven-fried chicken you'll ever make, complete with a spicy little blast to tickle your tongue.
Dear Journal – Lava tubes are formed when a stream of hot molten lava cools on the outside forming a hard crust while the hot lava in the middle keeps flowing, forming a cave. Cool! We have a lava tube right in our yard. Cooler yet! Our lava tube begs to be explored and seems to beckon just about everyone who passes our way. Kids of all ages can’t help but at least peer into the dark entrance, most are compelled to investigate a little further because you never know what you might find in an old lava tube on one of the world’s most beautiful and remote Polynesian islands. Intriguing. I have not yet gone into the dark unknown depths myself but still giggle when I remember the finale of one of our great dinner parties. Under starry skies long after dessert and nightcaps, some time near when the Night Marchers (spirits of Hawaiian warriors) are out and about, a handful of friends and Josh (our son) could no longer deny the overwhelming need to boldly go where no man has gone –to the far depths of the lava tube. I happily settled on the candlelit lanai as that little band of boisterous adventurers set-out amidst laughter and egged on by each other’s brittle bravado. Flashlights bobbled across the meadow alongside the house and poof, they were gone. But the voices continued – shouts, chuckles and excited chatter slowly gave way to silence. The quiet broken by familiar voices; ‘OUCH’ and “Ow, that hurt’ and ‘What was that?’, ‘No really what was that?’, ‘Come on, stay close’. The laughter getting scarcer and more nervous. Whispered chatter. Then a chorus of almost ritualistic sing-song chanting rose up into the night sky–‘ whoooo ahh, whoooo ahhh, whoooo ahhhh’. Tribal unity. ‘Whoooo ahhhh, whooo ahhhh’. I waited for quite awhile, but it was past my bedtime. Off to bed. The only thing filling the darkness as I snuggled in was the warmth of the moonlight and the faint chanting and odd chorus of laughter of a far off band of merry men that seemed as if it was coming from inside the aina (earth) itself. That made me giggle.
**You decide on the volcanic strength (heat) by varying the amounts of chile paste, black pepper and cayenne you add…..mild, medium or hot enough to make Pele herself smile. We make Pele smile all the time**
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons Hawaiian sea salt or kosher salt
1 - 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
½ - 1 teaspoon Asian chile paste, Sriracha or sambal oelek
4 chicken breast halves, skin on, bone in
Preheat oven to 375F. In medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder and cayenne. Mix well. Put melted butter in a shallow dish. Stir in chile paste. Dip chicken breasts, one at a time, first in the melted butter then into the seasoned flour. Coat evenly and completely with both butter and seasoned flour Place chicken pieces on greased baking pan. (Pour any left over butter onto baking pan.) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Flip chicken pieces and bake for 20-25 minutes more until coating is crispy and golden brown.
Depending on your mood and your crowd, this crunchy chicken is great drizzled with Thai sweet chili sauce or honey or with fresh squeezed lime and a bit of Asian chile paste for dipping. So many delicious decisions.
Mahalo Dewayne and Keith for all the good times and giggles!