My Blackened Tilapia Turned Chicken

My menu said tilapia for dinner but I had a large package of chicken that I needed either to cook or to freeze, so the chicken was cooked.  Now most of the time when you blacken fish you cook it in butter.  Well I cook gluten free and dairy free so there was no butter harmed in my pans.  I used my favorite coconut oil which can give a sweet flavor and to me that is similar to butter.  Make sure you have enough oil in the pan and use a pan that is easily cleaned, or a cast iron skillet that is black already.

Blackened Chicken  ©Diane Eblin

Blackened Chicken ©Diane Eblin

Now the beauty of the blackening seasoning is you can apply it to just about any protein you like.  Fish is what you usually see but I have used it on chicken, pork and steak.  This recipe is more about the spice combination and the technique.  Apply it to your favorite protein.  I believe it would work with tofu although I have never tried it and it would taste great on a portabella mushroom or polenta for more vegetarian options.

We really liked this combination of seasonings and it was not too spicy hot.  If you would like yours to be hot, add more cayenne pepper to the mix.  Now I’m sure you can purchase pre-mixed blackening seasonings but I like mixing my own and controlling how much of each ingredient I add.  Also, so many spice combos have sugar added to them.  I just don’t understand why we have to have sugar in everything.  I bet if you took a look at everything in your pantry and refrigerator that was processed that more than 75% of it would contain some form of sugar if not more.  It’s no wonder we have so many health problems in this country.  Oh, sorry, I’m on my soap box again. Can you tell I’m a recovering sugar addict.

Well I can tell you my spice mix has no sugar in it but if you feel the need go ahead and add some.  Please make sure you check to see if the seasonings you are using are gluten free.  Some companies add flour to keep things from clumping or as a preservative.  Remember a manufacturer does not have to include gluten as an ingredient.  I really like Penzey Herbs and Spices.  They are gluten free and always taste great.

Ingredients:

©Diane Eblin

©Diane Eblin

1 pound of protein like skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Seasoning mix to coat (amounts below)
2-3 TB virgin coconut oil

Blackening Season Mix
1 TB Paprika
1 TB Sea Salt
1 tsp ground onion (I like toasted)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
Heat your pan on medium high and let the oil get hot.  Pour out some of the spice mix onto a plate.  Take your chicken and press it into the spices on all sides.  When the oil is hot and you will know because it will start to ripple, carefully add the chicken to the pan.   I always use my splatter screen when cooking this but don’t think it will keep the stove clean, it won’t.  When the top of the chicken starts to change from a raw look to slightly cooked in color, turn it over.  Don’t be alarmed when you do and your chicken is black, it’s supposed to be.  Remember this is blackened chicken.  The second side will take less time to cook.  After 3-5 minutes, I check by pressing down on the chicken.  Raw chicken and cooked chicken will have a different feel.  When it feels done, more firm when pressed, I take it out and cut into the middle.  If it is no longer pink and the juices run clear, it’s done.

I served this with rice cooked with a bay leaf and toasted onion and fresh thin green beans with shallots.  If you like your meals spicy hot, the rice is a good side dish to help put out that fire on your lips.

13 Responses to My Blackened Tilapia Turned Chicken

  1. Diane Eblin March 31, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    Kirsten- Great question. When coating fish or chicken to fry you need a starchy flour. This will create that crispy but lite texture you want. Try Tapioca flour or corn starch. If you want the coconut flavor just mix the two flours together. I would probably go with a 2-1 ratio, starch flour being the 2. Let me know how that works out. Now if you want really crispy you need a 3 step process of starch flour, liquid like coconut milk or egg, then seasoned flours or bread crumbs. The possibilities are endless. A favorite around here is the Fritos crunch. Have fun!

  2. Kirsten March 31, 2009 at 8:39 am #

    Last week, I tried breading tilapia in a gluten free coconut flour and then frying in coconut oil. It didn't come out crispy, instead it was more like sludge. Is that a result of the oil not being hot enough when I place the fish in the pan? Now, I can't wait to try out your Blackening seasoning – sounds like a tasty combination!

  3. Kirsten March 31, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Last week, I tried breading tilapia in a gluten free coconut flour and then frying in coconut oil. It didn’t come out crispy, instead it was more like sludge. Is that a result of the oil not being hot enough when I place the fish in the pan? Now, I can’t wait to try out your Blackening seasoning – sounds like a tasty combination!

  4. Diane Eblin March 31, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Kirsten- Great question. When coating fish or chicken to fry you need a starchy flour. This will create that crispy but lite texture you want. Try Tapioca flour or corn starch. If you want the coconut flavor just mix the two flours together. I would probably go with a 2-1 ratio, starch flour being the 2. Let me know how that works out. Now if you want really crispy you need a 3 step process of starch flour, liquid like coconut milk or egg, then seasoned flours or bread crumbs. The possibilities are endless. A favorite around here is the Fritos crunch. Have fun!

  5. gfeglutenfreeeasily April 1, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    Looks terrific, Diane. I like Penzey's a lot, too. Yes, we are obsessed with sugar … an addiction I am working on myself. I was looking for a recipe for oven fries the other day and one required sugar. :-( Just like McDonald's … I didn't make that recipe. I like blackened anything so I will try this one. Thanks!
    Shirley

  6. gfeglutenfreeeasily April 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Looks terrific, Diane. I like Penzey’s a lot, too. Yes, we are obsessed with sugar … an addiction I am working on myself. I was looking for a recipe for oven fries the other day and one required sugar. :-( Just like McDonald’s … I didn’t make that recipe. I like blackened anything so I will try this one. Thanks!
    Shirley

  7. Diane Eblin April 1, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Shirley- Sugar on fries! Is there no shame. It's amazing what we find when looking. Thanks for sharing that. Penzeys is giving away FREE cloves with order. Use code 52133C when ordering.

  8. Diane Eblin April 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Shirley- Sugar on fries! Is there no shame. It’s amazing what we find when looking. Thanks for sharing that. Penzeys is giving away FREE cloves with order. Use code 52133C when ordering.

  9. kirsten April 2, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Thanks, Diane! I'll try that next time. In the meantime, I made your Blackened Tilapia…in fact, I'm eating it right now and it is YUMMMYYYYYYY!!!! Definite keeper for that cookbook just waiting for you to create :)

  10. kirsten April 3, 2009 at 2:24 am #

    Thanks, Diane! I’ll try that next time. In the meantime, I made your Blackened Tilapia…in fact, I’m eating it right now and it is YUMMMYYYYYYY!!!! Definite keeper for that cookbook just waiting for you to create :)

  11. Diane Eblin April 3, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Kirsten- Thanks for letting me know. Next time feel free to take a photo and I'll put it up here too! I'll mark this recipe then as a keeper. -Diane

  12. Diane Eblin April 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    Kirsten- Thanks for letting me know. Next time feel free to take a photo and I’ll put it up here too! I’ll mark this recipe then as a keeper. -Diane

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