Daisy Martinez, star of her own public
television cooking show, Daisy Cooks!,
attended the French Culinary Institute and
runs her own catering business, The
Passionate Palate. Her first cookbook, DAISY
COOKS! Latin Flavors That Will Rock Your
World, a tie-in to her cooking show, was
published this year by Hyperion Books.
Cracker Jack Chicken
6 pieces Kirkland Signature/ Canola oil
Perdue Individually 3 large eggs
Frozen Boneless, Skinless 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
Chicken Breasts (about 3
pounds), thawed in the BÉCHAMEL SAUCE
refrigerator overnight 4 tablespoons butter
Fine sea or kosher salt 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper 2 cups milk, hot
6 thin slices serrano ham, 3 sprigs fresh thyme
prosciutto or deli ham 1 bay leaf
6 pinkie-size pieces Monterey Fine sea or kosher salt
Jack or Havarti cheese Tiny pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1. Starting from the thick side, slice chicken breasts almost in half
horizontally. Open up and pound with a mallet to just under 1/2 inch thick.
2. Season breasts with salt and pepper. Lay 1 ham slice on each, leaving
a 1/2-inch border. Place cheese along edge. Fold chicken over cheese and
roll into a compact bundle. Tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals.
Roll bundles in flour to coat, tapping off excess.
3. Heat 1/4 inch oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low. Add as many
chicken rolls as will fit without touching. Cook, turning often, until golden
brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes or until internal temperature
reaches 170°F. Remove and let cool. Remove twine from chicken.
4. Meanwhile, make the Béchamel Sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan
over medium-low heat. Stir in flour and cook, whisking, for 4 minutes. Slowly
whisk in milk. Add thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
Lower heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened and smooth,
about 15 minutes. Stir in salt to taste and nutmeg.
5. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Dip chicken rolls in Béchamel to coat
and set on the waxed paper. Refrigerate until sauce is set, at least 45 minutes.
6. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl until foamy. Spread bread crumbs in another
shallow bowl. Dip chicken in eggs to coat. Roll in bread crumbs until coated,
then set on a baking sheet.
7. Heat 4 inches of oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat to about 390°F.
Slip 3 chicken rolls into oil and cook until golden brown, about 2 1/2 minutes.
Remove to paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken. Makes 6 servings.
Brands may vary by region; substitute a similar product.
I Chef’s Choice
Crispy Chicken Bits
All recipes developed by Daisy Martinez
1 1/2 pounds Perdue* Individually Frozen Chicken Tenderloins, thawed
in the refrigerator overnight
1 teaspoon dry adobo seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar (or your favorite)
Vegetable or canola oil
1. Cut chicken into pinkie-size strips. Place in a bowl and toss with adobo
seasoning and vinegar until coated. Marinate, covered, at room temperature
for up to 30 minutes or in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Drain the
2. Pour 3 inches of vegetable oil into a deep heavy pot. Heat over medium-high heat until the tip of a wooden spoon handle gives off a very lively
sizzle when dipped into the oil (about 390°F).
3. While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken in flour until coated. Tap off
any excess flour.
4. When the oil is hot, carefully slip as many of the floured chicken pieces
into the oil as will fit comfortably. Let them bob around, turning them
with a spoon once or twice, until deep golden brown and cooked through,
about 4 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the
remaining chicken. Serve hot. Makes 6 snack-size servings.
* Brands may vary by region; substitute a similar product.