Butternut French Toast and Ginger Hot Chicken

Serves 4

1 large butternut squash, peeled (you'll only need the neck of the squash - 8 pieces 0.25" round)1 C all purpose flour5 eggs½ C cream1 tsp vanilla½ tsp salt½ tsp cinnamon4oz butter4oz vegetable oil

4 chicken breasts (3-4oz each; pound chicken a little if the breasts are super thick)2 T fresh ginger, peeled and zested2 T candied ginger paste1 T sugar1 T Garam masala spice blend½ tsp cayenne1T vegetable oil1 tsp salt2 C self rising flour1-1.5 C buttermilkVegetable oil - enough to have 1" high in saute pan

1 recipe orange sage butter (recipe follows)1 recipe milk stout syrup (recipe follows)

Prepare orange sage butter:4oz unsalted butter¼ C marmalade1 tsp dry sage½ tsp salt½ tsp cayenneWhip ingredients with beaters or by hand until incorporated and fluffy.Prepare milk stout syrup:1 Japa Chai Milk stout beer (I use Mantra Artisan Ale from Nashville!)½ C sugarPinch of saltPlace ingredients in a small pot and put on medium heat. Simmer until recipe reduces by half. Cool down to room temperaturePrepare Chicken:Make a paste with gingers, sugar, garam masala, cayenne, salt and oil. Marinate chicken in mixture for 2-4 hours.When ready to cook, place buttermilk in a shallow pan and flour in a separate shallow pan. Fill a cast iron skillet 1" high with oil.Prepare Butternut Squash:Lightly oil and salt butternut and place on a sheet pan. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, then cool (do not overcook!). Butternut squash can be cooked a day ahead and held in fridge.Whip eggs, cream, and cinnamon in a bowl (mix a little cream with cinnamon first to avoid lumps). Add salt to flour and place in a shallow pan. Melt butter with oil and set aside (you will use this to heat your saute pan when cooking butternut squash).Put it all together!Heat the oil in your cast iron skillet. Lightly flour chicken, dip in buttermilk, and then back in the flour and press well into the flour (just like fried chicken!). Place in the oil and fry, turning over, to get the chicken nice and crispy. Keep warm while you prepare the rest of the dish.Work the butternut in 2 batches. Put ½ of the butter/oil mix in a saute pan over medium heat. Lightly flour butternut squash, dip in the egg, and fry each side till golden brown (like french toast!).Place the chicken and a knob of the butter between 2 pieces of butternut. Top butternut squash with more butter and drizzle syrup!

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