I had all the plans to roast brussel sprouts for my visiting family. My aunt and I decided to make some tasty, crunchy, oven-fried chicken, and roasted brussel sprouts would have been the perfect compliment.
But IGA didn't have any brussel sprouts. :(
I stood at the hole where the sprouts should be and that's when I saw them. Fiddleheads.
Pic courtesy of Wiki
I first saw fiddleheads at the American Folk Festival in Bangor. They were... umm... pickled. And even the woman manning the booth couldn't really tell us what was so good about them. They are ferns and only available for a very short period in these Northern parts.
Sadly, I couldn't find any recipes that just deal with fiddleheads straight out. Many of the recipes wanted me to use them in stew or some other dish. So... I just roasted them with a little bit of oil and sea salt.
As far as I'm concerned, needn't bother.
When I first opened the container, the fiddleheads smelled like wet camp. You know the smell... it's all wet and woody and dirty. And the fiddleheads were very wet themselves. They weren't crisp and dry like a brussel sprout or a broccoli floret, but I thought that maybe that would improve.
When they came out of the oven they smelled like hot, wet camp. Ugh. My dad and I ate a few of them. But they were not what one would call... good.
What was good... was the chicken. It was fantastic!
I made a crunchy coating of approximately 2c crushed Parmesan Basil Wheat Thins, 1/2c parmesan cheese, and 1t salt. My aunt stepped up and dipped the chicken fillets in egg and then in the crumbs. The chicken was baked for... about 45 minutes, but I don't remember exactly so check it at 30 minutes and then reassess.
Mmm... the chicken probably didn't need to bake as long as I baked it, but it was soooo tasty. The crackers have a strong parmesan basil flavor but it mellows a bit as it cooks. My mom didn't like the crackers for that reason, but she loved the chicken.
I'm definitely going to make this chicken again. I'm going to experiment with all the other Wheat Thin flavors, but then I might just go crazy with all crackers. Why not?!