Chicken Macadamia

A wise parent would never open a jar of macadamia nuts in front of their kids. One taste of these little delicacies and the entire stash would disappear as if attacked by kiddie piranhas. These are grown commercially in Hawaii, but they came originally from an Australian evergreen tree. These white-fleshed nuts set off this Chicken Macadamia recipe that is done up in a beer batter and finished with a sweet and sour sauce. For 6-8 people, you'll need:

2 lbs.                    chicken strips    
6 oz.                     cornstarch
12 ounces                 beer (your choice)   
16 ounces                 all purpose flour
6 ounces                  water     
1 tsp                     baking soda
2 ea.                     eggs     
3 TB                      oil for frying
1 TB                      salt       
dash                      yellow food coloring   
4 ounces (or more)        crushedmacadamia nuts

First we make an all purpose batter. The beer gives it a zesty flavor without the alcohol (which evaporates in the frying process). Mix together the beer, water, eggs, salt and food coloring. Add corn starch, flour and baking soda, mixing well. Refrigerate until needed.

Make sure you pat the chicken dry before you dip in the batter, otherwise the batter will run off and not cling to your meat. Heat up the oil in a fry pan until it is good and hot. If it is not hot enough, the food will stick to the fryer and also cause the batter not to fry crisp. We don't want wimpy batter!

After it is fried golden brown, remove and sprinkle with your crushed macadamia nuts. Serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce:

1 cup                     chicken stock     
2 TB                      brown sugar
1 TB                      soy sauce      
1 TB                      white sugar
1/4 cup                   dry sherry      
1 TB                      diced red pepper
1/4 cup                   white vinegar     
2 TB                      cornstarch

Bring all the ingredients except the cornstarch to a boil. Then take the cornstarch and mix with one tablespoon of cold water. Mix that in with your sauce and continue to cook for about 10 minutes until it thickens. Wine might clash with the vinegar in the sauce, so why not serve a beer with it? Michigan Mackinac has some real gusto. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.