If you’ve ever tried “oven frying,” especially shrimp, you know that usually what you end up with is a gummy, soggy, pitiful excuse for mediocre or less seafood. But that’s over, y’all. I got the situation solved for you. Ready for crunchy, crispy, crusty yet juicy Louisiana shrimp? Do this recipe to the letter!
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup instant polenta
1-1/2 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher or sea salt to taste
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 cups potato chips, crushed to fine crumbs
¾ cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 bottle Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
1-1/2 pounds shrimp (21-25) peeled and deveined (tail on)
Before you even begin pulling together the ingredients, adjust the oven rack to its highest position and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
When that’s done, uniformly toss together—in a microwave safe bowl—the Panko crumbs, the polenta, the paprika, the cayenne, about a teaspoon of salt, and the vegetable oil.
Then put the bowl into the microwave and zap it on HIGH until the crumb mixture turns golden brown and identifiably crisp, which should take anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes, stirring the mixture halfway through cooking time.
Next, fold the potato chips into the bread crumb mixture.
Then transfer the bread crumbs to one shallow dish, spread out the flour in a second shallow dish, and whisk the eggs until thoroughly combined In a third shallow dish.
Now pat the shrimp dry with a wad of paper towels and generously sprinkle them with the seafood seasoning.
Then, one at a time, coat each one lightly in flour, dip it in the egg mixture, and dredge it in the crumbs, pressing gently so that the breading adheres.
When they’ve all been coated, arrange them about a half-inch apart on a wire rack that’s been sprayed with Pam and placed inside a rimmed baking sheet.
Critical step: Refrigerate the shrimp for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, liberally spray the shrimp this time with an even coating of Pam , slide the pan into the oven on the top rack, and bake them until the crumbs turn a deep golden brown and the shrimp are just cooked through (about 5 to 7 minutes). Do not over bake them or they’ll turn rubbery!
Serve them piping hot right out of the oven alongside a big dollop of my “almost world famous” potato salad.
The 5 minutes or so it takes to cook these shrimp isn’t enough time for the breading to turn brown and crisp in the oven.
But if you toast the instant polenta and Panko in the microwave first the shrimp get a head start in browning and crisping up!
Instant polenta is available in the international foods section of most supermarkets.