Embrace the Texas Heat with a Fiery Mesquite Grilled Chicken Salad

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Cool off this summer by using the power of hot chilies to provide you with your own personal air conditioning.

Spicy Mesquite Grilled Chicken Breast on Fresh Salad

Savory Mesquite Grilled Spicy Chicken on Salad

I learned, some twenty plus years ago, an important tip on staying cool during the hot, muggy Texas summers. I was working on a landscape crew down on the Texas coast and while the temperatures hovered close to the century mark during the summer, it was the 90 plus percent humidity that took its toll on me.

One of our crew members, Javier, almost always had a fresh jalapeno in the lunch his wife packed for him each day. I finally asked, “Javier – Why the jalapenos?” and his reply was something like “jalapenos are air conditioning”. I sat for a moment, taking it in, when he went on to explain that the chilies make you sweat and when the air moves across your wet skin it helps to cool the body. He of course was right and I was given one more reason to love chili peppers, each and every one of them.

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17 March 2011 – War Birds or Fried Birds

I had kind of an interesting day yesterday. My plan was to go out to the Air Power Expo 2011 over in Ft. Worth and post some War Bird photos here. Alas, I awoke with a stiff back and just was not sure if I was up for 8 hours of carrying my gear around with no chance to rest my back. I was also put off by the declaration on the Air Power Expo site that said that no bags would be allowed. Thus, making it far more difficult to carry two camera bodies and several lens. So my decision was made – No War Birds.

So, what to do? I hadn’t been over to cook for the folks in nearly a week so why not go over and cook some tasty fried birds? Those that know me know I am a fan of Chicken Fried Steak and hope to enjoy it once every month or so. However, I just had it about a week ago so yesterday was just too soon for a revisit. So I decided on something nearly as good. Chicken Fried Chicken. If you are unfamiliar; around here anyways, it is a boneless chicken breast floured and battered and then pan or deep fried. As for the sides it is the usual cast of characters. Last night it was shoe peg corn, green beans an iceberg lettuce salad and the mandatory mashed potatoes and peppered cream gravy.

With CFS I just use a seasoned flour as a dredge and pan fry the steak in a skillet with a small amount of oil. For CFC I go a step further and dredge in seasoned flour, then dip in a milk and egg batter, and finally dipping it in seasoned Panko bread crumbs (I am a big fan of the Panko these days). The chicken is then fried in a skillet with about a 1/4 inch of oil until golden brown.

Chicken Fried Chicken

Chicken Fried Chicken

Chicken Fried Chicken

Chicken Fried Chicken

I have now seen some of the video and photos from the air show I missed and I do wish I had been there but sometimes you go with the flow. Here is a link to some footage from the air show.

2011 Air Power Expo