low carb warrior
There's no other way to say this (as sad as it is), my body does not process carbs well. By carbs I mean the white kinds - flours, pastas, etc... So I don't know if I mentioned this or not but about 3 years ago I was diagnosed with RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and it's been a rough journey. They still don't know much about it or how I got it as there isn't any family history of it. It does tend to affect women more and 40+ even more than that so I guess I hit all the statistics on that one. It's basically an autoimmune disease with no cure although some lucky people go into remission. The basis of it is an overabundance of inflammation in the body which causes pain and stiff joints. I can control a lot of it with the right mix of medications but mornings are not that fun while I wobble around like an 80 year old. There are things that help and maintaining a low carb lifestyle and avoiding certain foods does help a lot. Obviously, I love to eat so I have a hard time following it 100% of the time but I am always looking for ways to make my favorite foods a bit more carb friendly when I can.
Hence one of my new favorite recipes. Now, I know I keep saying how much I love my air fryer. It's been a bit of an obsession which I admittedly go through with my new kitchen toys (i.e. when I first got my Instapot) but it would be hard not to be enamored with it after trying it with this particular recipe! Oh my gosh, it is so good and hits all the notes!
Now, one thing that you should know about me is that I absolutely adore sweet and savory things. If that's not your thing, I don't get it BUT I will respect it. You can simply replace the hot honey that I drizzle on this chicken with something else. If you are on the fence because it doesn't sound like something that you might like, TRY IT! This is basically a hot fried chicken recipe that I tailored to be as low carb as I can get it. The hot honey is because you have to love life and because it is such a punch of flavor, you don't need much. I hope that you will trust me in this and give it a try so that your taste buds can thank you.
Now I don't care who you are - low carb warrior or not. That is just a sexy plate of food right there. If I could eat this every day, I wouldn't even care that the chicken wasn't breaded the traditional way. I know that I say this all the time but it really is true - I normally like simple recipes and this one couldn't be more simpler with the air fryer.
Let's start with the hot honey as it takes some time for all of the flavors to meld together.
Now that what I call food porn and two to three itty bitty ingredients!
1 cup of honey
2 to 3 chiles of your choice (fresh or dried) -- I used dried red Kashmiri chiles because I have a lot of them plus some crushed Thai chilies for added heat. You could use jalapeños, Serranos, Thai chiles or even habaneros.
1. Bring 2 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Let cook approximately an hour to infuse. Taste honey and adjust heat with another chile or 2.
2. Remove from stove, and let sit for a bit before use or transfer to a small jar, straining if desired. Cover and chill.
You can make this 3 months ahead. Keep in an air tight container and chilled. If you are planning on keeping it for awhile, I would definitely suggest straining it first.
You can use this for so many things ya'll! I made a quick pizza last night with my leftovers (yes, my leftover fried chicken was cut up and put on this) and drizzled this on top and it took it up to a whole different level!
Ok, now for the main event! The pork rind crusted air fried hot chicken! A mouthful to say...? Yes, definitely. A better mouthful in your mouth...hell yes!
Pork Rind Crusted Air Fried Hot Chicken
4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce (Frank's for me always)
1 cup crushed pork rinds (approx. half a bag). I used the baked chili lime flavored ones and crushed them with a rolling pin right in the bag that they came in. You can make your life even easier and get pork panko!!! It's an amazing product and 0 carbs!
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
avocado oil spray, as needed
Preheat your air fryer at 400F for 5 minutes.
Make sure that your chicken thighs are nice and dry and salt and pepper both sides.
In two bowls or plates, prepare your breading station. One bowl for the crushed pork rinds and one for the egg mixture. For the egg mixture, mix the eggs, hot sauce and some salt and pepper.
Dip each of the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then in the pork rinds. Coat them thoroughly and put them aside on a plate so that they are all ready to go into the air fryer.
Once the air fryer is preheated, spray the basket with avocado oil. Add the coated chicken in a single row in the basket and spray the tops of the chicken. Don't crowd them! Work in two batches if you run out of room.
Cook on 400F for 12 minutes, flipping halfway.
Serve hot and drizzle some of that hot honey goodness on them.
I will do a separate post for all my low carb sides that I love so much. For this dish I did a garlic cauliflower puree that I have perfected in it's laziness - minimal effort for maximum results and a great vehicle to add in different flavors and the perfect accompaniment to all sorts of proteins. Feels like carbs in your mouth but give you the nutrients of vegetables that my body needs. Win-win!